Bok Choy, Year Round Goodness

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Bok Choy for thousands of years has served as a staple in Asian cooking. The round-leafed vegetable may be less familiar to American cooks. Here are some fun facts to help you get acquainted with Bok Choy!

Bok choy is sometimes referred to as white cabbage, not to be confused with Napa cabbage, which is also a type of Chinese cabbage. There are many kinds of bok choy that vary in color, taste, and size, including tah tsai and joi choi. You might also find bok choy spelled pak choi, Bok choi, or pak choy.

Bok choy might look a lot like celery, but it’s a member of the cabbage family. The Chinese have been cultivating the vegetable for more than 5,000 years. Bok choy takes about 2 months from planting to harvest and thrives best in milder weather.

Selecting your bok choy, avoid wilted, broken, or spotted leaves, limp stalks, and discoloration. For optimal freshness, don’t wash bok choy until you’re ready to use it. Unused parts can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. To prepare your bok choy, just chop off enough stalk before washing so that it can be thoroughly cleaned under running water. The leaves and the stalks can both be cooked, but they should be separated before washing to ensure that both parts are thoroughly cleansed.

Not only is bok choy fat free and low in calories, but it is also loaded with vitamin C, and vitamin K, calcium, and potassium. Whether you are already a bok choy lover or just getting acquainted, here are some great recipes to celebrate this seasonal vegetable.

Immune Boosting Soup

1 T coconut oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 lb. shitake mushrooms

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. turmeric

12 cups water

4 heads baby bok choy, bottoms chopped off

1/2 head kale, chopped

optional: 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Chop off the bottom of the stem from your mushrooms and discard. Separate stems from tops and slice tops and remaining stem if necessary, into large pieces. You will only discard the very bottom of the stems, not the full stems as they contain many nutritional benefits!

Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add in celery and mushrooms and sauté for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have wilted.

Add in spices (including ginger, if using) and water and bring to a boil.

Then let simmer, covered for 1 hour or as long as you want (the longer you leave, the better!)

Add bok choy and kale in the last 10 minutes of cooking to wilt.

Serve warm or store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Balsamic Vinegar and Ginger Bok Choy

4 heads baby bok choy

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons capers

1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic

1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger root

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 dash fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Separate the leaves from the stems of the bok choy. Cut the stems into bite-sized chunks and shred the leaves.

Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bok choy stems in the oil until slightly tender, about 3 minutes; add the water and leaves and cook until the water evaporates, about 10 minutes more. Stir in the capers, garlic, and ginger; cook and stir 1 minute more.

Sprinkle the vinegar and lemon juice over the bok choy and remove from heat; serve immediately.

Seared Coriander Scallops with Bok Choy and Hoisin

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce *

2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

10 large sea scallops

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, coarsely crushed

2 teaspoons oriental sesame oil

2 baby bok choy, each cut lengthwise into eighths

2 tablespoons water

Whisk orange juice, hoisin sauce, and ginger in small bowl. Pat scallops dry on paper towels. Sprinkle coriander seeds over top of scallops, pressing to adhere. Heat sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops, coriander side down, and cook just until opaque in center, turning once, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to plate. Add bok choy and 2 tablespoons water to skillet; sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, divide bok choy between 2 plates, then top with scallops. Add hoisin mixture to same skillet; boil until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 2 minutes. Drizzle sauce over scallops and bok choy.

Hoisin Sauce can be made at home by combining, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon honey or molasses, 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 20 drops hot sauce, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Asparagus and Bok-Choy Frittata

2 tablespoons cooking oil

3 scallions including green tops, sliced thin

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small head bok choy (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 teaspoon salt

9 eggs, beaten to mix

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Heat the oven to 325°. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick frying pan, heat the cooking oil over moderate heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring, until the leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 3 minutes more.

Evenly distribute the vegetables in the pan and then add the eggs, pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until the edges start to set, about 2 minutes. Put the frittata in the oven and bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Drizzle the sesame oil over the top.


Bok Choy and Kale Fried Rice With Fried Garlic Recipe

For the Fried Garlic:

1 whole head of garlic, peeled

Kosher salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the Fried Rice:

3 cups day-old cooked short grain rice

2 cups chopped kale (about 4 ounces)

2 cups chopped bok choy (about 4 ounces)

1 Thai bird’s eye chili, finely minced, optional

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon soy sauce

For the Fried Garlic: Transfer garlic to the bowl of a food processor or mini food processor. Pulse until garlic is very finely chopped but not a paste, about 12 short pulses, scraping down sides as necessary. Set aside 2 teaspoons and toss remaining garlic with a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

Set a fine mesh strainer over a heat-proof bowl. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring. Garlic should maintain a gently bubble. If bubbling vigorously, reduce heat. Cook until garlic is light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes, then immediately strain. Transfer garlic to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Reserve fried garlic and oil separately.

For the Fried Rice: Heat 1 tablespoon garlic oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the kale and bok choy, season with salt, and stir-fry until the vegetables are bright green and barely wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 more tablespoon garlic oil in the wok over high heat until smoking. Add reserved raw minced garlic and bird’s eye chili and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add rice and stir immediately, breaking up any large chunks and adding remaining garlic oil as necessary to prevent sticking.

Season rice with salt and white pepper, then add soy sauce. Return kale and bok choy to rice and toss to combine. Transfer to warm serving bowl and sprinkle generously with fried garlic. Serve immediately.