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Bok Choy, also known as Chinese White Cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family.
It has a round tender white bulb on the bottom with long celery looking stalks and dark leafy greens on top. The entire vegetable is edible and can be enjoyed either raw or cooked.
I’ve often heard it referred to as a gateway green because it has such a mild green. So it’s a great choice for anyone looking to lean into more leafy greens.
You can also find immature bok choy (aka baby bok choy). This is simply a younger, smaller version of full grown boy choy that has been harvested a little bit earlier.
While bok choy is available in the grocery store all year round, winter is when they are at their prime because the frost from the cold weather helps to develop a nice sweet flavor and crisp texture.
Bok choy is a powerhouse. It’s rich in vitamins C, A, and K and is also packed with calcium, magnesium, and iron.
When you are shopping for bok choy, you want them to look nice and fresh and vibrant and try to avoid any that look wilted or rubbery on the bottom, you want them to look nice and crisp and healthy.
Once you have them home, just make sure they are wrapped tightly in plastic bag, (the one from the grocery store is perfect), with as little air as possible. This should last in your veggie drawer for at least 5 days.
When you are ready to work with your bok chop start by giving it a good rinse under some cold water.
For the fully grown boy chop, I treat it the same way I do celery. Cut off the root end and then run the stalks under cold water, being sure to wash the leafy tops as well.
If I am cooking with this, I always start with my stems and then finish with the greens since they stems take a little bit longer too cook. You’ll see the stems get tender and ready when cooked and then tossing the leaves in towards the end give a bright fresh flavor.
As for baby bok choy, I’ll usually slice in half or quarters and then rinse it just the same.
When bok choy is cooked, the stems become tender and creamy and the leaves are fresh and bright. Steaming, broiling, and stir frying are all great ways to cook your bok choy. It’s also delicious enjoyed raw in a salad or coleslaw.
BOK CHOY RECIPES TO GET YOU STARTED
- 15 Minute Bok Choy Soup
- Bok Choy + Ginger Stir Fry
- Crunchy Baby Bok Choy Salad
4.5 from 4 votes
- Bok Choy 101 | Everything You Need to Know
- Related Content
- What is Bok Choy (Pak Choy)
- Bok Choy Nutrition
- Ingredients in this Garlic Bok Choy Recipe
- How to cook bok choy
- What to serve with bok choy
- 10 Minute Garlic Bok Choy Recipe
- Bok Choy Harvesting – Learn When And How To Harvest Bok Choy
- Bok Choy Seed Harvest
- Growing Bok Choy
- When to Pick Bok Choy
- How to Harvest Bok Choy
Bok Choy 101 | Everything You Need to Know
Course: ingredient 101, KITCHEN BASICS Cuisine: Asian Author: Dani Spies Course: ingredient 101, KITCHEN BASICS Cuisine: Asian
Bok choy, sometimes spelled pak choi, is a member of the cabbage family. Although this brassica is available all through the year, the winter months are peak season. Not surprisingly, bok choy leaves often look like those of a cabbage. The stalks are crunchy and offer a mild, pleasant flavor. It has been eaten in China and other Asian countries for more than 1,500 years and it’s a far more recent addition in the United States, where it’s been cultivated for more than a century. About 95 million pounds of Asian vegetables, including bok choy, are imported (mainly from Mexico) into the United States each year. A further 35 million pounds are grown in the U.S, primarily California, although some is grown in Arizona as well as right here in Texas.
There are more than twenty varieties of bok choy to choose from, although we have significantly fewer options available in Houston than in Asia. Shanghai bok choy is perhaps the most common variety—baby bok choy is the miniature version of that breed. Bok choy sum, or choy sum, is more expensive and is also the most tender. This variety has light green leaves and little yellow flowers. Another option is tatsoi with its flat, spiraling dark green leaves. This one also comes in a miniature version.
How to Buy and Store Bok Choy
Choose fresh looking bok choy without any broken, wilted or spotted leaves, discoloration or limp stalks. You can keep it for up to a week unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to prepare it, cut it across the stalk before washing, then rinse what you are using under cold running water and store the rest in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. This tasty brassica is low in calories and fat free, and also boasts good amounts of potassium, folate, calcium, and Vitamins A, C and K.
What to Do with It
This Asian vegetable can be added to soups and stir fry. Try it with chicken, beef or pork and some soy sauce for a quick and easy meal, or toss it with mushrooms and snow peas as well as a little sesame oil and garlic to make a tasty side dish. Toss shredded baby bok choy with other salad greens to add a new flavor and texture, or enjoy the sweetness of raw bok choy leaves by using it as a lettuce substitute in a sandwich. You can cut the miniature versions in half and braise with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil until softened for an attractive side dish. Alternatively, drizzle some oil on them, season, and pop the bok choy on a hot grill until tender.
In a Starring Role at: San Dong Noodle House
If you’re more into discovering an authentic Asian food experience than enjoying luxurious fine dining, consider the San Dong Noodle House for your next Chinese food fix. Located slap-bang in the middle of Chinatown, this small, casual restaurant specializes in noodles, soups, dumplings and other Chinese and Taiwanese delicacies. It is cash-only but you can eat a hearty meal for less than $10, perhaps one reason it’s so jam-packed at lunchtimes and on weekends. You have to get your own bowls, chopsticks, spoon and water, and the service is rather basic, but simply focus on the great food and you’ll leave happy!
So what should you order? Well, there is plenty of bok choy in the beef dumpling soup, adding extra nutrition as well as complementing the flavor, or you could consider the Taiwan-style chicken steak with rice which also comes with bok choy and a marinated boiled egg on the side. Make sure you try the flavorful potstickers and grab some pork buns to take home. You can warm them up in the microwave or oven.
Stay tuned every week to learn more about what’s fresh and exciting at the market and discover where you can enjoy the delicious bounty of the season.
Crisp, fresh, and bursting with loads of unexpected flavor, this Garlic Bok Choy Recipe is guaranteed to be your new favorite side dish. Ready in just 10 minutes, enjoy this easy vegetarian side dish with chicken, beef, or fish.
Sometimes the simplest things are the best things. This Garlic Bok Choy Recipe- totally simple, easy, and delicious– is made with just a handful of ingredients including ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Ready in just 10 minutes, all you need is a hot skillet and a spatula.
What is Bok Choy (Pak Choy)
Bok choy, also known as pak choy or pok choi, is a type of Chinese cabbage, that has smooth, wide, flat leaf blades at one end with the other end forming a cluster similar to that of celery. May be eaten cooked or raw.
What is the between Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy?
Since several of you have asked, I did a little research and this is what I have found.
- They are basically the same.
- The difference is that baby bok choy is harvested earlier producing smaller, more tender leaves.
- This means that baby bok choy is much sweeter than and is often served directly in soup or in salads.
- Bok choy, on the other hand, is much heartier, perfect for longer cooking times as in stir-frys.
Bok Choy Nutrition
Bok Choy is high in nutrients and low in carbohydrates. As such, it is an excellent option when trying to eat more healthy, low-calorie foods.
- 1 cup raw bok choy- 1.5 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 9 calories
High in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and beta-carotene, this wildly popular green is also an excellent source of folate, calcium, and vitamin B6. It is also considered both a cruciferous vegetable and a leafy green vegetable.
Ingredients in this Garlic Bok Choy Recipe
- baby bok choy
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- crushed red pepper (optional)
If you prefer a more mild vegetable side dish, I recommend skipping the crushed red pepper. In my experience, even with jarred, store-bought crushed red pepper, the heat level can be somewhat unpredictable, so unless you love a little extra heat, leave it out.
Other fantastic additions would include crushed ginger, a splash of fish sauce, or a sweet chili dipping sauce.
How to cook bok choy
- We want to keep our baby bok choy somewhat intact, so the first thing we want to do is either halve or quarter each stalk (depending on the size of the bok choy) and wash under cold running water.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add the oil. Swirl to coat the entire surface of the pan. As soon as the oil is hot, add the garlic and the shallots, and sautè for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add the bok choy, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss and cover. Cook for approximately 2 minutes before uncovering, tossing, and covering. Continue to cook the bok choy until white parts reach desired doneness (I have found that this varies from person to person as some people prefer crunchier bok choy, while others prefer a more well-done stir-fry).
- Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, if using, and drizzle with additional sesame oil, if desired.
What to serve with bok choy
Aside from how easy this recipe is to make, one of my favorite parts about it is that it goes with just about everything!
- Add some shrimp for a low carb, high protein meal.
- Serve with your favorite chicken or steak and a side of rice.
- Add onions, carrots, bell pepper, and broccoli for a veggie-packed stir-fry the whole family will love.
- Toss with ramen and drizzle with chili sauce for a meal guaranteed to taste better than take-out.
If you try making this 10 Minute Garlic Bok Choy Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
For more bok choy recipes check out,
- Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy (Bok Choy Soup) <— reader favorite!
- Easy Sheet Pan Thai Chicken with Bok Choy
- Sweet Chili Tofu with Coconut Rice and Bok Choy
- Spicy Stir Fried Tofu with Bok Choy
- Udon Noodle Soup with Bok Choy and Poached Egg
For more Asian-inspired recipes check out,
- Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe (Mixed Rice)
- Easy Thai Fried Rice Recipe (Khao Phat Kaphrao)
- Bulgogi Korean BBQ Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Pho Recipe- How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Soup
- Kimchi Ramen Noodle Soup (30 minutes)
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10 Minute Garlic Bok Choy Recipe
4.9 from 179 votes Crisp, fresh, and bursting with loads of unexpected flavor, this Garlic Bok Choy Recipe is guaranteed to be your new favorite side dish. Pin Recipe Course: Side Dish Cuisine: Asian Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 8 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 6 as a side Calories: 54kcal Author Jessica Randhawa
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 large shallots – minced
- 2 pounds baby bok choy – halved or quartered
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper – optional
- Add the oil to a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat the entire surface of the pan. Add the garlic and shallots, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add the bok choy, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss to coat and cover. Cook for 1-2 minutes, uncover and toss, and then cover and continue to cook until bok choy is cooked to desired doneness (approximately 3-5 minutes more).
- Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- You may use bok choy or baby bok choy for this recipe. If you use bok choy, I recommend chopping into smaller pieces to expedite cooking time.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute regular soy sauce with gluten-free Tamari.
Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 439mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6825IU | Vitamin C: 68.8mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 1.3mg (Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.) Did you Make this Recipe? Tag it Today!Tag @theforkedspoon and hashtag it #theforkedspoon and please leave your star rating in the comment section below. 192.3Kshares
Bok Choy Harvesting – Learn When And How To Harvest Bok Choy
Bok choy, an Asian vegetable, is a member of the cabbage family. Filled with nutrients, the plant’s wide leaves and tender stems add flavor to stir fry, salad and steamed dishes. Choose the smaller plants when harvesting bok choy. They have a smoother, less acidic flavor and work best for fresh recipes. The time when to pick bok choy will depend on the variety. There are two ways how to harvest bok choy, which depend on the time of year and what use you have for the vegetable.
Bok Choy Seed Harvest
Bok choy is a cool season vegetable like all the cruciforms. However, it is more tolerant of extremes than common cabbage. You can sow in spring or late summer for a fall harvest.
Bok choy requires partial shade to prevent bolting. If you allow the plant to bolt, it will form flowers and seed, providing a bok choy seed harvest. The seed is housed in pods that you take when the husks turn brown and dry. This signals the seed is ready. Store seed in a cool, dry place until it’s time to sow them.
Growing Bok Choy
Sow seeds in early spring or late summer. Bok choy requires nutrient rich, well-drained soil. The thick stems are juicy and sweet and need plenty of water to grow. Remove competitive weeds and till soil gently around the plants to increase oxygen levels for healthy root growth.
Bok choy’s wide leaves are a target for foliage munching pests like snails and slugs. Use an organic slug bait to prevent holes and extensive damage to the plant.
Harvesting bok choy plants that have been protected will ensure beautiful, blemish free leaves filled with flavor and healthful benefits.
When to Pick Bok Choy
Bok choy is ready to harvest as soon as it has usable leaves. The small varieties are mature at 6 inches tall and the larger types grow 2 feet tall. The baby varieties are ready in about 30 days and the larger ones are ready four to six weeks after sowing.
Bok choy is a cabbage that forms no head. As such, you can cut a few leaves at a time or harvest the entire crop.
How to Harvest Bok Choy
Bok choy harvesting is done all season long. For a constant supply of the plant, sow seeds every two weeks until the high heat of summer arrives. Row covers will help supply some shelter from scorching sun and may extend the harvest.
Cut off the plant at soil level when harvesting bok choy for the whole plant. In some cases, a few smaller leaves will sprout from the crown if it is left in the ground.
You can also just cut off the leaves that you will use at one time and let the rest grow on. Immature plants provide the sweetest, most tender leaves and stems.