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Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with Miso Sauce

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2017

Why This Recipe Works

When preparing baby bok choy, two main issues arise: cleaning the notoriously dirty vegetables and getting the stalks to achieve a perfectly tender-crisp texture before the leaves get too limp. Unlike mature bok choy, which is often chopped into small pieces for cooking, part of the allure of baby bok choy is showcasing its diminutive size. In this recipe, we struck a balance by cutting the bok choy in half lengthwise; this provided access to the areas where most of the dirt and grit typically hide so we could thoroughly clean them, and it helped the vegetables cook more evenly than if they were left whole. An initial stint of steaming gave the stems the head start they needed to soften slightly before sautéing. A mixture of miso, mirin, and sugar formed the base of a salty-sweet sauce.

Ingredients

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4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
8 small heads baby bok choy (1 1/2 to 2 ounces each), halved, washed thoroughly, and spun dry
2 tablespoons water

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Instructions

Serves 4

If using heads larger than 2 ounces each, quarter them instead of halving. We spin the bok choy dry after washing to avoid adding too much water to the pan.

1. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, ginger, and garlic in small bowl; set aside. Whisk miso paste, mirin, sugar, and cornstarch together in second small bowl: set aside.

2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bok choy and water and immediately cover. Cook, covered, shaking pan occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove lid, toss bok choy, and then push bok choy to sides of skillet. Add ginger-garlic mixture to center and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Stir ginger-garlic mixture into bok choy and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until all water has evaporated, stems are crisp-tender, and leaves are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add miso mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and coats bok choy, about 15 seconds. Transfer to platter and serve.