Charred Bok Choy and Cannellini Bean Salad

Charred Bok Choy and Cannellini Bean Salad

Charred Bok Choy and Cannellini Bean Salad

This recipe offers a fresh take on bok choy, moving beyond the usual steaming or stir-frying methods by showcasing its versatility with charring. Feel free to cook bok choy with gusto; its sturdy stalks hold up well, maintaining their crispness while acquiring a delightful smoky-sweet flavor. If using baby bok choy, simply slice them lengthwise as their smaller, tender leaves require no further preparation. Alternatively, robust greens like gai lan or various cabbages can be substituted.
The accompanying dressing packs a flavorful punch, balancing sweetness and acidity. Grated ginger adds a kick of heat and spice, complemented by the tang of rice vinegar which helps cut through the richness of maple syrup. Remember this dressing—it pairs wonderfully not only with bok choy but also with cold soba noodles or similar salads.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


For the Ginger-maple Dressing

  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Salt and black pepper

For the Salad

  • 2 pounds bok choy about 2 large bunches, rinsed and patted dry
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 big handful cilantro chopped
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds


  • Start by creating the dressing: Combine the ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well combined. Season the dressing generously with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prepare the bok choy: Begin by trimming the base of the bok choy and separating the white stalks from the green leaves. Slice the stalks into 1-inch pieces, and roughly chop the leaves, ensuring they are kept separate from the stalks.
  • Heat a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat for approximately 2 minutes. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of oil into the skillet, then add the bok choy stalks. Season the stalks with salt and pepper and toss them to coat evenly. Allow the bok choy to cook undisturbed until the bottoms of the stalks are charred, which should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss the stalks and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, tossing them frequently, until they are charred and tender-crisp. Transfer the cooked bok choy to a large serving bowl, and return the skillet to the heat source for further use.
  • Next, drizzle another tablespoon of oil into the skillet and add the bok choy leaves. Season them with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing frequently, until the leaves are charred and any excess water has cooked out, typically about 3 to 4 minutes. Once done, remove the charred leaves from the skillet and add them to the cooked stalks.
  • Introduce the cannellini beans to the bok choy mixture in the skillet, then pour in the prepared dressing. Add the cilantro and toss everything together until well combined. Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. To serve, sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper and sesame seeds for added flavor and texture.