Charred Bok Choy with Mushrooms

From Darren MacLean, chef/owner Shokunin

2016 Sep/Oct

If you want to add some ethnic flair to your grilled repertoire, give this tasty and traditional grilled Japanese sunomono a try.


  • 8 heads of baby bok choy, split in half and cleaned
  • clarified butter or canola oil and salt
  • 2 c. morel or chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned
  • 3 knobs of cold butter
  • 3 T. good quality Junmai sake


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 T. white miso paste
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 T. yuzu juice, or the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • Pickled onions: put 1 c. julienned red onion in a bowl with 1/2 c. rice wine vinegar, 1/4 c. water, 1/2 c. sugar and a pinch chile flakes. Stir to dissolve sugar and reserve.
  • bitter green herbs, like kinome, arugula or watercress (garnish)
  • 1/4 t. Sichuan peppercorns, ground (garnish)


Preheat your grill to high and make sure the bok choy and mushrooms are clean. To prepare the kimizu, bring some water to a boil in a double boiler or a pot half full with a steel bowl on top. Reduce to a simmer and add the egg yolks, miso, sugar, yuzu or lemon juice and vinegar to the top or bowl and whisk vigorously until thickened. Set aside and cool. This Japanese hollandaise will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, so make in advance if you want. Brush the bok choy with butter or canola oil, season with salt and grill on high heat until the leaves are charred and the bases havesoftened a bit. Reserve in a 200°F. oven until ready to use. To prepare the mushrooms, heat 2 knobs of butter over medium heat in a saucepan; when melted and hot, add the mushrooms and turn the heat to high. Sauté until mushrooms have softened, then deglaze with the sake. Add the last knob of butter and stir vigorously to emulsify the butter and coat the mushrooms. Reserve.
To assemble: Place the bok choy on plates and top with the mushrooms. Drizzle generously with the kimizu, garnish with pickled onions and bitter greens, then sprinkle sparingly with the ground eppercorns.

Serves 6 – 8 as a side dish.