Learn to make this delicious Grilled Bok Choy in just 10 minutes! Drizzled with sweet chili sauce, this easy vegetable side dish pairs great with any meal.
It is easy to get in a rut when it comes to vegetable side dishes, but today that changes with this sweet and savory Grilled Baby Bok Choy. It's healthy, easy to make, and tastes great with just about anything you are cooking on the grill.
It's no secret that during the summer months, I love making vegetables on the grill. It's just so much easier to cook everything outside on the grill instead of running back and forth to the kitchen. Plus it means less clean-up!
Last week, I was making Grilled Honey Sriracha Chicken and I wanted an easy Asian side dish to add to the meal. I thought of this Stir Fried Bok Choy, but I wanted to cook everything outside so I decided to experiment with throwing bok choy on the grill. Since it is similar to cabbage, I was pretty sure I could make it work. And let me tell you, it did! This dish is so good!
On the grill, the bok choy gets sweeter and caramelized. Paired with the sweet and spicy Asian flavors in the sauce, it's a great side dish for any meal. The leftovers are great as well. I added mine to some brown rice and chicken the next day for a delicious lunch.
What is bok choy?
Bok Choy, also known as Chinese white cabbage, is a common vegetable in many Asian recipes, especially stir-fries. It's super crispy, has a flavor similar to cabbage, and can be eaten raw or cooked.
There are two types of bok choy, baby bok choy and the larger, mature bok choy. Baby bok choy tends to have a milder, sweeter flavor while mature bok choy tends to have a more bitter flavor. When bok choy is cooked, it gets sweeter and takes on a bit of a nutty flavor.
In terms of nutrition, bok choy is low in calories (only 10 calories per cup) and is packed with potassium, vitamins A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and beta carotene.
- Baby bok choy: For grilling, I find that baby bok choy is the best option. It is sweeter and cooks more quickly than the larger stems and leaves of mature bok choy.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is often used with bok choy since it is common in Asian recipes. Tamari, coconut aminos, or even salt could be swapped in if needed.
- Sesame oil: To bring out that delicious nutty flavor in baby bok choy, sesame oil is a tasty option. You could also use coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil.
- Rice vinegar: Adding an acid like rice vinegar, makes the flavors bright and adds some zing. It also pairs well with the Asian flavors in this recipe. Lime juice would work as well.
- Sweet chili sauce: To add some sweetness and heat, Thai sweet chili sauce is a great addition to grilled bok choy. It's made with garlic, Thai red chili peppers, ginger, and sugar. The sugar in the sauce also helps to caramelize the bok choy and get those tasty grill marks. Teriyaki sauce would work well or you can leave it out for a sugar-free option.
Cooking Tips for Grilling Baby Bok Choy
Here are some expert cooking tips for making this tasty vegetable side dish on the grill.
- If the bok choy leaves are beginning to burn before the stalks are ready, simply place some foil below the leaves to prevent them from charring.
- Always make sure your grill is clean so that the vegetables won't stick to the grill grates.
- Make sure to clean the bok choy before grilling it since dirt and debris can get caught in the leaves and stem. Start by cutting the baby bok choy in half. Then place it in a bowl of cold water and gently move with your hands. Remove from the water and dry well.
- For a faster option, cut the bok choy into smaller pieces and cook on a grill basket. It won't have the same beautiful presentation but will still taste delicious.
- Cook the bok choy until it is crisp-tender, it should have some texture and crunch.
- This can also be cooked on a grill pan if you are preparing it indoors.
Once you start grilling bok choy, you'll discover there are so many different ways to prepare it. Here are some favorites:
- Garlic and black pepper: Brush the halved bok choy with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, lots of black pepper, and a few red chili flakes.
- Honey ginger: Combine 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of honey (or brown sugar), 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons of grated ginger. Brush half of the mixture on the bok choy before grilling. Then drizzle the remaining sauce on the bok choy when it comes off the grill. Finish with sesame seeds.
- Teriyaki: Brush the bok choy with teriyaki sauce before grilling and then drizzle some extra on top when it comes off the grill.
- Lemon and garlic: Brush the bok choy with olive oil. Sprinkle with minced garlic, kosher salt, and pepper. After grilling, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top.
What to Serve with Grilled Bok Choy
This dish works with almost any protein you are making on the grill including chicken, salmon, steak, or pork. It pairs especially well with Asian-inspired recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about cooking bok choy on the grill.
This recipe will work with larger bok choy as well. Start by cleaning the bok choy and separating the stalks. Keep them whole or cut them into large pieces that won't fall through the grill grates. Then cook them the same way, be careful not to burn the leaves. They make take a couple more minutes since the stems tend to be thicker.
The entire bok choy plant is edible, but make sure to remove the hard stem if you are using the larger bok choy. In baby bok choy, the stem is softer and edible. Also, make sure to remove any browned or wilted leaves.
Bok choy is best when it is cooked to tender crisp. The stalk should be tender but still have some crunch. The leaves should be bright green and tender. When bok choy is overcooked it can become stringy and difficult to eat.
Grilled Bok Choy
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- 4 heads baby bok choy, cut in half
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
If the leaves begin to burn on the grill, place some aluminum foil underneath to prevent them from burning further.
For a sugar-free option, skip the sweet chili sauce on the end. If you want things spicy, you can add some sambal olek or Sriracha.
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