What to Do With Fresh Bok Choy
It’s spring and a great time to bring home something different, like bok choy!
Bok choy is related to cabbage and a versatile vegetable with crisp, sweet leafy greens and white juicy, mineral-rich white stems. Bok choy is earthy in flavor retains its beautiful emerald green color when cooked. You can prepare the leafy green any number of ways: toss baby bok choy with homemade vinaigrette in a salad, add whole to spiced beef soup; or use a number of way in your next stir fry.
When purchasing bok choy look for crisp, bright green leaves and a firm, white stem. Avoid bok choy with dull, drooping leaves, yellow stems, or brown spots. Bok choy like other leafy greens, should be stored in the crisper drawer in a loose or perforated plastic bag. Don’t wash bok choy until directly before cooking.
When ready to prepare, wash with cold water and cut away the root at the base. Baby bok choy can be cooked whole or eaten raw; for mature bok choy, separate the stalks and leaves before cooking them. The leaves cook much faster so you’ll want to add them to your recipe right at the end, whether you’re boiling, steaming, or stir-frying.
Asian Style Beef and Bok Choy Stir Fry
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 6 ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of fat and very thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon red chili pepper paste
- 3 cups sliced bok choy
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and chili paste in hot oil about 3 minutes or until beef is desired doneness. Remove skillet from heat. Reduce heat to medium. Remove beef from skillet with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid in skillet; keep beef warm.
- Add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil to skillet. Add bok choy and garlic; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until bok choy is crisp-tender. Transfer to serving dish. Top with warm beef mixture. Drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Serves 2. Each serving contains Calories 180, Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 52 mg, Carbohydrates 4 g, Protein 21 g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 286 mg, Potassium 546 mg.
Grilled Bok Choy Wedge Salad
(Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe)
- Cooking spray
- 4 4-ounce bok choy heads, halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup low fat buttermilk
- ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbles
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup crispy fried onions
- ¼ cup crispy friend bacon pieces
- Heat a grill pan over high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place bok choy halves, cut side down, on pan. Cook 2 minutes per side, until both sides are marked and lightly charred. Remove from pan.
- Stir together buttermilk, blue cheese, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Place bok choy halves, cut side up, on a serving platter. Top evenly with buttermilk dressing, and sprinkle evenly with tomatoes, bacon, and fried onions.
Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 80, Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 6 mg, Carbohydrates 7 g, Protein 5 g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 196 mg.
Shrimp and Bok Choy Stir-Fry
- ½ – ¾ pound shrimp
- 1 tablespoon mirin (To substitute the mirin add between 1 and 2 tablespoons of sugar to ½ cup of white wine, vermouth, or dry sherry)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ pound bok choy
- 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, or 6 Chinese dried mushrooms (also called dried Shiitake mushrooms)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil for stir-frying, or as needed
- 2 thin slices ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chicken broth, sodium-reduced if possible
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
- Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the mirin or substitute, ½ teaspoon salt, and cornstarch, stirring in one direction (this is to make sure the marinade spreads evenly.)
- Chop the bok choy stalks diagonally and the leaves across into 1 inch pieces. Wipe the mushrooms with a cloth or soft brush and cut into thin slices.
- If using Chinese dried mushrooms, soak in hot water for 20 minutes to soften. Drain the softened mushrooms, remove the stems, and cut into quarters.
- Preheat the wok and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until aromatic, then add the shrimp. Stir-fry until they turn pink. Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan.
- Add a bit more oil if needed so that there is about 1½ tablespoons oil in the wok. Add the bok choy, mushrooms, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir-fry for 1 minute (Note: add a small amount of water or rice wine if the vegetables are a bit dry). Add the chicken broth, cover, and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the shrimp back into the pan. Add the sugar, soy sauce, and pepper. Give the cornstarch/water mixture a quick re-stir and add in the middle, stirring to thicken. Cook, stirring for another minute and serve hot.
Braised Bok Choy with Tomatoes and Cheese
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 2-pound head bok choy, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 slices whole-grain country bread, toasted and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup finely shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- Place oil and garlic in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add bok choy, tomatoes and olives; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bok choy is tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir in salt; top with bread and cheese, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute.
Serves 6. Each serving contains Calories 121, Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 7 mg, Carbohydrates 12 g, Protein 6 g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 347 mg, Potassium 638 mg.