Your guide on how to cook bok choy at home. This is a quick and easy recipe.
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What is Bok Choy?
Bok Choy is a leafy green and white vegetable. It looks like celery but it's actually a type of Chinese cabbage.
The leaves are dark green and tender, the white stem part is juicy and crisp and it has a mild flavor.
It's also known as Pak Choi and Pok Choi in some places.
Bok Choy can be cooked or eaten raw and can be used in Asian and Western recipes, making it an interesting leafy cooking vegetable.
Selection and Storage
Pick fresh and crispy looking Bok Choy in your local grocery.
The leaves should be dark green and not yellow or damaged.
The white stem should be crunchy and without dark marks. The leaves should not be able to fall off.
You can choose to buy and use Baby Bok choy (small and younger) or regular mature bok choy.
I use mature plants because we don't get the baby variety in stores. Both are fine but baby bok choy are a bit tender and they can be more easily prepared.
Keep your fresh bok choy in a vegetable crisper bag so that the leaves remain fresh for longer.
Bok choy can be kept for at least a week in the vegetable section in your fridge before the leaves start to turn yellow.
Preparing and Cleaning
Bok choy stalks need to be separated from each other because mud and dirt can get trapped in between (just like leeks).
Washing and cutting the bulb in half without separating the leaves isn't a good idea because mud and impurities get trapped between the leaves.
I separate the stalks first and remove damaged or yellow leaves (if any) and then I rinse off each leave with clean running water.
Then pat dry leaves to get rid of the water. The leaves should not be places wet into the pan when the oil is hot or else your oil will jump up.
I like to trim off the small "root" pieces (hanging from where the stalks were attached to each other) with the help of a scissor or knife.
You can cook your bok choy leaves now!
How to cook it?
This has been the easiest and fastest way so far to prepare fresh bok choy and it's totally vegan, plant-based.
You will only need one pot, 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time.
Heat up wok or shallow pan with oil.
Add ginger and garlic when hot and place bok choy leaves into your hot pan. (you can use freshly chopped ginger and garlic or a paste)
Cook on one side for a minute over high heat.
Turn your leaves in the pan to cook on the other side.
Pour soy sauce over the bok choy and keep on stir cooking over high heat for a minute or so.
Your stir cooked bok choy is done when the green leaves have reduced in size and the stem is still crunchy but softer.
To garnish, you can sprinkle red pepper flakes (as seen on the picture) or sesame seed or sesame oil over the cooked bok choy.
Another idea is to sprinkle some oyster sauce, hoisin sauce or teriyaki sauce over the cooking bok choy when you add the soy sauce.
Also, you have the option of adding some honey to the dish during the cooking process.
You can also add a protein of your choice such as chicken, beef, duck, pork, tofu, shrimp, fish, squid, eggs.
To do that follow my chicken and cabbage recipe but use bok choy instead of the napa cabbage.
Or you can add cooked leftover meats or rotisserie meats to the end of the cooking process.
Serve this quick and easy bok choy dish with:
- noodle bowl - chow mein, yakisoba, ramen, udon, soba, pad thai.
- fried rice, plain rice bowl or buddha bowl
- baked or fried tofu
- Asian curry (with rice)
- stir cooked shrimp, chicken or beef
- baked or pan-fried salmon
- a fried egg (my personal favorite) or shakshuka
More Bok Choy Recipe Ideas
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How to cook Bok Choy
- Prepare your bok choy breaking the white stems from the head.
- Rinse your bok choy leaves under running clear water to get rid of mud and impurities trapped in the inner side of the leaves. Discard yellow leaves.
- Pat dry wet leaves and trim off uneven, small root-like parts.
- Heat up a shallow pan or wok with the oil. Wait for the oil to get hot (but not smoking point).
- Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and stir cook real quick.
- Place Bok Choy into the pan and cook over high heat for a short time so that they get a light char on one side.
- Stir cook and cook on all sides for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour soy sauce over bok choy and stir cook for another minute.
- Take form the heat and serve hot. You can garnish your cooked bok choy with red pepper flakes, sesame seeds or a drizzle of sesame oil.
- Use ginger and garlic finely chopped (ratio 1:2) or use ginger and garlic paste.
- Substitute a mature bok choy with 2-3 baby bok choy (depending on the size).
- Garnish with Chili flakes, sesame seeds or green onion stalks. See post for flavor and garnish options.
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