How to Cook Bok Choy Easily and Use it 6 Different Ways

Learn how to cook Bok Choy , a.k.a the "other" cabbage so you don't get bored eating the same old veggies again and again.

When I was a kid, Friday night was Chinese food night.  We went to our local chinese take-out and ordered the worst of the worst Chinese food dishes….but it did have Bok Choy - so at least it had that going for it!!!  We will ignore all the oils, fried batter on the General Tsao's Chicken and the Chinese Spareribs and MSG (obviously I did not know much about nutrition in those days).  But….I know it had Bok Choy!!!

And in those days (jeez, I make myself sound like I am 90 years old!!) …. Well, in those days….they didn't really sell Bok Choy in ordinary supermarkets - I had to go to the Asian grocery stores to find it.  Today we see it frequently but many people don't buy it because they have no clue what to do with it!!!


raw bok choy

Selection and Storage:

When selecting Bok Choy, look for a plump bulb and be sure that the leaves are green in color and not brown or wilted.   Bok Choy be stored for about 3 days in a loose plastic bag in your refrigerator's crisper.

Preparation and Cooking Tips:

You can cut the bottom bulb off to release the leaves then wash and dry the leaves.  Learn how to cook Bok Choy a few different ways - it can be steamed, stir-fried, eaten raw and even roasted.  Stir-fried Bok Choy seems to release the best flavor while steaming or cooking it for 5 minutes maximum will help to retain most of its nutritional value. 

I like to cook the leafy green part separately from the thick, white part of the Bok Choy.  I usually cook the white part first until it is tender then I throw in the leafy green part since it cooks much faster.

Baby Bok Choy vs. Bok Choy

Basically the difference is the Baby Bok Choy is more tender….that's about it.  There is not much difference on how to cook bok choy vs. baby bok choy.

Bok Choy Substitutes:

Chinese Broccoli, Broccoli, Celery, Swiss Chard and Napa Cabbage (for stir fry only).

How to Cook Bok Choy
Using a Basic Healthy Stir Fry Recipe

Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium bunches of Bok Choy or 8 Baby Bok Choy cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces.  (optional: separate leaves and add last when cooking)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt (optional)
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds (optional)

 Directions: 

  • Heat oil in a stir fry type pan or wok.  Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO HEAT OIL TOO MUCH OR GARLIC WILL BURN.  You don't know how many times I have burnt garlic because I am slightly ADD and can't focus!!!!
  • Add Bok Choy pieces (I like to save the leaves until last minute). Stir well to coat with the oil and garlic mixture. 
  • Then add the water and soy sauce.  Now this is where you have to use your judgment…maybe there is not enough liquid….so add equal portions of both water and soy sauce.  Maybe start with a 1/2 tablespoon of each….but you don't want it swimming in liquid or it will be a soup instead of a saute.
  • Cook about 5 minutes until it reaches desired tenderness.
  • Add Sesame Oil and toss.

You can add other veggies to this Basic Stir Fry to make a veggie stir fry.  Use the Bok Choy Flavor Combos below to see if you have any of these veggies on hand to add to this stir fry.

I like to add color to my foods.  So personally, I would add some sliced carrots for the orange contrast and Broccoli for the deep green.  I might also add some chopped cashews for a little crunch.

Six Ways to Use 
Your Bok Choy Stir Fry

Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Bok Choy Option #1

Added to brown rice, tossed and sauteed in a wok with 2 eggs to make a "Fried Rice"

 

Bok Choy Option #2

Added to a soup…whether it be one I make from scratch or if I don't have time I may add it to a pre-made Organic Soup like Trader Joe's Miso Soup or Potato Leek Soup.

 

Bok Choy Option #3

Added to a salad with chicken strips.  How many times have I gone through the salad bar at Whole Foods only to see these delicious cooked side dishes served with a fresh salad

 

Bok Choy Option #4

Use your leftover sauteed veggies to make a frittata or egg muffins.  Add some parmesan cheese or feta cheese to your eggs for a twist.  Many complain that leftover veggies are soggy….not really, but they are great in frittatas, quiches, scrambled eggs, etc.

 

Bok Choy Option #5

Make some Rice Noodles according to the package…add to a wok and lightly stir fry.  Add the veggies and if you have some leftover chicken toss that in too.  If the noodles are dry - toss in some veggie broth or the soy sauce mixture from the basic saute recipe above to moisten.  I prefer to use broth so it is not too salty. 

 

Bok Choy Option #6

Make a HEALTHY QUESADILLA.  You can spread the bok choy on on a tortilla, add your low fat cheese and maybe some diced chicken, black beans and salsa. Put another tortilla on top - pop in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  That's it!!!


Bok Choy Flavor Combos
Bok Choy Flavor

Asparagus

Beans - black or red

Beef

Broccoli

Butter

Carrots

Cashews

Celery

Chicken

Chili Peppers

Chili Powder

Cilantro

Coconut Milk

Coriander


Fennel

Fish

Garlic

Ginger

Hot Sauce

Lemon Juice

Chicken

Mushrooms

Rice Noodles

Oils; peanut, sesame, olive

Pork

Peanuts

Rice

Rosemary

Salads


Salmon

Scallions

Shallots

Shellfish

Snow Peas

Soy Sauce

Tamari

Bragg's Amino Acid

Tarragon

Tofu

Vinegars…especially Rice

Water Chestnuts

Zucchini

Broths; chicken, miso, veggie


That's it!!! Easy- peasy!  Learning how to cook bok choy can be easy if you know the basics and know what other ingredients you can add to make the dish unique to your tastes and healthy!

Go here for more information on the nutritional benefits of Bok Choy.   

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Related Articles:

“Easy Vegetable Recipes that Won’t Break the Bank”

“Kale Recipes That Are Easy to Make”

“Easy Cabbage Recipes With a Twist”


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