The Best Way to Cook Bok Choy


Bok choy, also known as Chinese or white cabbage, usually has white, celery-like stalks and dark green leaves. It is a common ingredient in Chinese cooking. Compared to other cabbages, bok choy has a mild, sweet flavor rather than being bitter. You can find bok choy in the supermarket throughout the year. You can eat it raw, steamed or in stir-fry.

Selection and Preparation

Purchase bok choy that is firm and bright looking. The leaves should be a dark green. Avoid limp, yellowed bunches. Store the bok choy in the refrigerator in an unsealed bag, for no more than a few days. When it is time to prepare the bok choy, chop off the end of the bunch. Separate the leaves and stalks, then wash under cold running water. If the stalks are particularly dirty, gently scrub them to remove any dirt. Pat the stalks and leaves dry, or spin dry in a salad spinner. Roughly chop the bok choy.

Cooking Methods

Although there are several ways to cook bok choy, including boiling and steaming, stir-frying the vegetable enhances its flavor the most. If you own a wok, use that to stir-fry bok choy. If you do not, a regular skillet will work fine. Heat the wok or skillet and add a few teaspoons of vegetable oil. The stalks, which are thicker, take longer to cook than the leaves. You should add the stalks to the wok first and cook for several minutes before adding the leaves. Stir the vegetable constantly, and keep the heat high. Cook the bok choy until its stalks are just tender and the leaves have just wilted---about five minutes. To add more flavor to the dish, pour in about 2 tsp. soy sauce while cooking. You may also add a splash of sesame oil and a sprinkle of black or red pepper.

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About this Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she started writing theater reviews for and Theater Talk's New Theatre Corps Blog. Her writing covers a wide range of topics including theater, vegetarianism, travel and news. Weller has a Master of Fine Arts in dramaturgy and theater criticism from CUNY/Brooklyn College.

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