Charred Pak Choy Salad with Apple Cider and Miso Dressing

Flavors of the season unite for a delicious and healthful dish!

When I was growing up, my dad was the gardener in the family and my mom the cook. He loved puttering with his tomatoes and potatoes, and I think it was probably the only time in his life, besides fishing. when he was alone, and even then, we kids tended to invade his territory.

An exotic!

One of the vegetables he loved to grow was pak choy. Everyone seems to call it bok choy now, but I’m sticking with how I learned it, recognizing even that is often spelled pak choi! To us, it was an exotic vegetable, but Mom loved to use it in salad and stews and her occasional attempt at making something vaguely resembling an Asian dish.

A beautiful gift from my friend Carolyn’s garden!

A nutritional powehouse

It is really easy to grow, and few vegetables in your garden will offer as much in terms of nutrition. A member of the cabbage family, it is low in calories and fat, pak choy is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including Vitamins K, A, C, B6, and E, and calcium zinc, potassium, folate, and selenium. It has properties that help fight against cancer and heart disease as well as being an immune system booster. 

I think I need to eat more of this!

For the salad I’ve made here, I’ve added a lovely new local apple for a little sweetness, and some mild red miso for a little extra flavor. You can use as much or little miso as you like, just start with a bit and taste as you go. While there is not a lot of it in this dish, miso does offer great health benefits on its own from boosting the immune system to aid in digestion. I always have a jar or two in the refrigerator and use it often as a little secret flavor booster.

If you want a little heat, use a hot pepper rather than sweet, or add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

The best cider, unpasteurized

The cider is important in this dish. Look for unpasteurized cider from a reputable local grower. It will have tons more flavor even though you will be heating it in this application.  

This is fast to put together and can be served as a warm salad, room temperature, a side dish, or a base for a protein and call it a meal. 

Charred Pak Choy Salad with Apple Cider and Miso Dressing

  • 2 or 3 heads of baby or medium pak choy (bok choy)
  • 2 tbsp. fruity olive oil
  • 1 plump shallot, sliced lengthwise
  • ½ sweet red frying pepper, or hot pepper if you like
  • 1 cup unpasteurized apple cider
  • 1 tsp. yellow or mellow red miso
  • 1 large apple, ¼-inch dice (leave peeling on)
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced flat-leafed parsley
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Slice the pak choy lengthwise into four quarters, leaving the root intact. Brush lightly with olive oil and char or grill just until the greens soften, the vegetable just charred but still crisp. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium high in a saute pan and add the shallot and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables just start to soften, just a moment or two, and add the cider and miso. Mix this in well, then add the apples.

Continue cooking until the apples just start to soften, this is quick too. Stir in the parsley, remove from the heat, and whisk in the butter to thicken the dressing a bit. Season with the vinegar, salt, and pepper and taste. I like a little more vinegar, but this is all about personal preference.

Chop the pak choy and arrange on a platter or shallow bowl, and season. Top with the dressing and serve. You can add a few chopped nuts if you like, or some crunchy croutons.

heap of fresh bok choy with green leaves
Photo by Laker on

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  1. I’ve discovered bok choy when I’ve moved to Singapore and we often eat it just by toasting it a little bit in a pan with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and some pine nuts…we serve it as a side dish instead of spinach sometimes 😉
    It looks like a wonderful salad with a little bit of crunch, sweet and salty 😋

    1. It’s such a wonderful vegetable, tasty and so very good for us!

  2. What a creative salad! sounds delicious and we do love miso!.

    1. Thank you! We all loved this one!

  3. NativeNM says:

    The thing I love about Bok Choy is that it absorbs the flavors around it so you can make so many dishes by adding different sauces and vegetables. Your recipe sounds so delicious and aromatic!

    1. Thank you so much! You are absolutely right about how well it absorbs flavors, and this salad has tons!

  4. Suzassippi says:

    I have often wondered about this vegetable, and see it often here. I think I might try it in my next stir fry and see what happens.

    1. I probably use it most often in a stir-fry! It stays nice and crunchy and is delicious!

    2. Separate the white part from the green and add the green leaves only at the end, because it cooks much quicker than the white stalks.

      1. Perfect! I rarely make a stir-fry without it because the local farmers keep it coming most of the year!

  5. Bernadette says:

    Dorothy, it is so funny that your Dad grew this vegetable. I honestly don’t even remember seeing it in the market until about 20 years ago. The recipe looks scrumptious. You are posting some great vegetarian recipes.

    1. Thanks Bernie, it is a really delicious salad, and everyone in the larger family can enjoy it from the vegetarians to the dairy-, gluten-, and nut-free folks!, and I feel healthier just looking at it!

  6. writinstuff says:

    Always looking for more ways to use bok choy. Thanks! Looks delicious

    1. Thank you! There are so many ways to use this vegetable, and I’m always looking for new ones just like you!

  7. This looks so tasty and vibrant. Great combination of ingredients. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! Vibrant is a great word for it!

  8. capost2k says:

    Pak choi — Bok choy; tomAto — tomahto. 😁
    The characters of Chinese can be transliterated many ways.
    I always get a kick out of the mix-up of “Ls” and “Rs” in transliterations, as if they are pronounced the same in English!
    Fa-la-la-la-la — Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra! 😂
    In any case, it looks like it will taste delicious however you spell it!

    1. LOL! Thank you, and you are right, no matter how you spell it, it is a really great vegetable! 💕🥬

  9. Nancy says:

    Another delicious and creative recipe! Thank you!
    Quick note… I made your Corn Fritters… Oh! My! Goodness! They came out soooooo good and we’re quite easy to make. THANK YOU!
    I just went to our local farm market and the farmer just picked the last of his bi-color corn. So I’ll be making more fritters! I also bought some local maple syrup from them… there will be some good eatin’ here at the LakeHouse for the next few days! 🙂

    1. I am so glad you liked them as much as we do! I fiddled with that recipe for ages to serve at our B&B, and once I hit it just right, I’ve made the base the same for years, adding a pepper or two for color and flavor if the spirit moves me. They are divine with maple syrup, my favorite way of eating them, but horseradish sauce is also pretty great!

  10. Gail says:

    I want to make more dishes with miso, but am having trouble finding it. 🍂

    1. I usually get mine at the co-up or health food store, but I have noticed it in some supermarkets recently. The good news is when you do find it, it keeps forever!

      1. Gail says:

        Awesome! That’s encouraging. 👏

  11. nancyc says:

    This looks like a wonderful autumn salad! The apple cider and Miso dressings sounds so good too!

    1. They make a lovely combination!

  12. CarolCooks2 says:

    I love Bok Choy a delightful mix of ingredients …Sounds delicious, Dorothy 🙂

    1. Thank you Carol! Everything sings together nicely in this one!

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with bok choy, it sounds like an amazing vegetable and this salad sound delicious, thanks Dorothy!

    1. Thank you Jenna! Give it a try! It adds lovely texture to a stir-fry, is delicious grilled, and works nicely in soup as well.

  14. Chef Mimi says:

    Fantastic! Great flavors and textures. Can’t wait to make this dressing!

    1. Thank you Mimi! The dressing is really tasty!

  15. terrie gura says:

    This looks great, and I’m glad you explained that pak choy and bok choy are the same. I was afraid I had missed a new vegetable! This is a nice way to prepare it; I’ve only used bok choy in stir fries, but you always inspire me to new ideas!

    1. Ah thanks! I love to find new ways to enjoy a food, and it’s tempting to just stir-fry the oak chit. But it’s a fun vegetable in so many uses.

  16. Kate says:

    Looks delicious Dorothy! You must be reading my mind, I just bought the same dishes used in the photo 🙂 Can’t wait to try this!

    1. Thank you Kate! And yes, the dishes are pretty and so handy, especially when eating outside! But I use them all year long!

  17. Judee says:

    Looks like a nice combination of flavors. I really do like Park Choy and am interested in trying the miso dressing.

    1. Thank you Judee! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

  18. Carolyn Page says:

    Salivating as I’m reading, Dorothy… It’s almost lunchtime and this is mouth watering.
    I also use miso a lot… It’s a great flavour booster, as you’ve said; and it’s good for you too! That’s a great combo!

  19. This has everything I love what a fabulous salad. I just discovered I love Bok Choy this year.

    1. Thanks! You will love your journey with bok choy! So versatile, and I always appreciate its fresh crunch.

  20. Hi Dorothy! It is called paksoi around here, so that is close to how you call it. I use it often in Asian stir fries, but your salad looks very nice and it does have an Asian flavor profile of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy.

    1. Thank you Stefan. It is a vegetable I almost always have in my refrigerator!

  21. nancyc says:

    What a delicious-sounding salad and dressing! I finally have some apple cider now so I’m looking forward to using it in recipes! 🙂

  22. Christy B says:

    It sounds (and looks) delicious, Dorothy! I’ve only called it bok choy, not pak choy, but I’m glad to know it by this other name now too 🙂

    1. No matter what you call it, it’s delicious’

  23. Lorin Black says:

    Sounds Delicious!

    1. Thank you Lorin! We really loved it!

  24. Rehoboth says:

    Delicious salad

    1. Thank you! We love this one!

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