Healthy Grapefruit and Bok Choy Salad Recipe

Healthy Grapefruit and Bok Choy Salad Recipe Recipe

I felt like making a low-fat salad today because my husband Lulu and I have been diligently working out every day. I bought beautiful pink grapefruits at our local market, so I used the sweet and slightly acidic fruit in the salad. Bok choy and roasted bell peppers rounded out the flavors and textures of the dish. I finished it with a tahini and miso salad dressing that really bound the flavors together.

Even though the meal was low in calories, it was so flavorful. The salad  nicely complemented the grilled cod and soy gluten I prepared for Lulu and me. The best part is that even though he is a vegetarian and I eat meat, we were able to share a meal together.


Yields: 6 servings

2 pink grapefruits
12 bok choys
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
bell peppers (red, green and yellow)
2 teaspoons tahini
juice of a lime
1 clove pickled garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon white miso paste
1-½ tablespoons homemade chile jam (click on the link for the recipe)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, as needed
3 tablespoons avocado oil (or canola oil), as needed


For the spicy salad dressing:

Place the miso paste, lime juice and ¼ cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer for about 2-3 minutes. The liquid should reduce to about a tablespoon of miso. Add the chile jam. Filter through a fine sieve if you like to remove the seeds, then add honey and tahini. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the avocado oil and sesame oil immediately while the juice is still hot. Finish with the pickled garlic.

Prepping the bok choy: Blanch the bok choy in about a quart of salted boiling water. Cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the greens into a cold water bath. Pat dry on a towel. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and sprinkle with red chili flakes. Set aside.

How to segment a grapefruit / citrus: Peel the fruit and divide it in half. Remove the membrane wall on one side around a segment. Apply a little pressure on the segment with your thumb to separate the segment along the next membrane (you could also use a paring knife but don't cut the fruit; use the knife as a separator). Free the segment and gently pull it away from the fruit, removing all the membrane. Repeat and remove the rest of the segments. Separate each segments in 2-3 pieces.This technique releases and spills less juice. Transfer the segments with as much as juice as possible into the bowl. Season with salt and white pepper. Drizzle with light sesame oil. Toss well until all the ingredients are coated with the oil.

Roasting bell peppers in the oven: Preheat your oven to 450°F. Spread the peppers evenly on a cookie sheet, in a single layer. Roast the peppers for about 4-5 minutes until the skins blister and darken. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Wrap each pepper in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle them without discomfort. Clean and remove the skin from the peppers using a knife (or under running water); the skin will come right off. Seed them and slice the flesh into long strips.

Assembly time:

Transfer all the components of the salad to a serving platter. Lay the pink grapefruit and roasted bell peppers on a bed of the bok choy. Drizzle with the spicy salad dressing.

Serve at room temperature.

Bon appétit!


I used bok choy, but you can use any other green vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, choy sum, sugar snap peas, broccoli or even avocado.

I buy white miso paste (shiro miso) at the Korean store. It's less salty than regular miso and it has a very smooth texture.

miso paste picture

When it comes to making salad dressings, a few essential ingredients come to mind. A sweet element, (sugar, honey or a jam), a sour note (vinegar, citrus), a binder (mustard, tahini), salty flavor (I used miso paste for this recipe) and oil. The spiciness from the chile jam adds an extra dimension of flavor to the salad. You can mix and match these elements and create your own dressing. Be creative!

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 29, 2010.


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