Bok Choy Muchim (Korean Bok Choy Salad)

Bok Choy Muchim recipe(Korean Bok Choy Salad) by

What is Muchim

Muchim means salad in Korean.  They often grace the table as cold-dish appetizers in a spread to start out your meal.  What makes these Korean salads truly stand alone – sometimes even outshining the main dishes – is that they are dressed with lip-smacking, umami-flavored sauces made with a variety of essential Korean seasonings like gochujang (Korean red chili paste) and doenjang (Korean fermented soy bean paste).

Some of the popular muchim include oi-muchim (spicy cucumber salad), kongnamul muchim (soybean sprouts salad), pa muchim (scallion salad), and golbaengi muchim (the ultimate muchim made with squid, sea snail, pollack and an assorted mix of vegetables).

Or my personal favorite, this Korean Bok Choy Salad Seasoned with Soy Bean Paste, also known as Bok Choy Muchim.

Korean bok choy recipe by

For this Bok Choy Muchim, the tender green leaves of baby bok choy get a quick blanch in boiling water. Just cooked long enough to dispel the bitter notes from the rawness of the greens, without overcooking them where they lose their tender-crisp.

Bok Choy Muchim recipe by

bok choy for korean muchim recipe
bok choy muchim with soy bean paste

Once the bok choy is blanched, it is coated well with a sweet & spicy sauce made from a mixture of Korean fermented bean paste (doenjang 된장), Korean red chili paste (gochujang 고추장), soy sauce, scallion, finely chopped garlic, a few drops of toasted sesame oil, and our Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning.

Korean Bok Choy Salad recipe by

Robust in flavor, this Bok Choy Muchim makes a perfect accompaniment to Korean BBQ dishes such as bulgogi or kalbi. 

For a weeknight meal, I also love serving this muchim as a side dish to go with brown rice and a Korean-style omelette or fried egg.  It also goes really well with a simple soy-glazed salmon.

Bok Choy Muchim (Korean Bok Choy Salad with Soy Bean Paste) by

Bok Choy Muchim (Korean Bok Choy Salad)
by Season with Spice

5 heads (about 1 lb) of baby bok choy – ends cut off, and stalks separated
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1 1/2 tbsp doenjang 된장 (Korean fermented soybean paste), or red miso paste
2 tsp Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning
1-2 tsp gochujang 고추장 (Korean red chili paste)
1 tsp soy sauce, or tamari
1 scallion – thinly sliced
1 tsp honey
1-2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1. In a mixing bowl, combine doenjang (or red miso paste), Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning, gochujang, soy sauce (or tamari), scallion, honey, garlic, and toasted sesame oil. Mix well and set aside.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the bok choy for about a minute until the white stalks just begin to wilt. Drain well and rinse in cold water to stop the bok choy from continuing to cook.
3. With your hands (wear disposable plastic gloves), gently squeeze out any excess water from the bok choy. Add them into the mixing bowl, and then using your hands, gently toss them until very well coated. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!