Bok choy is a quintessential ingredient in Chinese cooking. With its bright green leaves and slightly bitter taste, it can be used in stir fries, soups, or as a side on its own. Learn how to cook bok choy with this easy step-by-step tutorial!

How to Cook Bok Choy

What is Bok Choy

Bok choy, also called pak choi or pok choi, is a type of Chinese cabbage. It looks similar to mustard greens in that it grows in clusters and has long green leaves. It’s been used in Chinese cooking for thousands of years (for medicinal reasons) and was introduced to North America in the 19th century.

The taste of bok choy is quite mild. It’s similar to cabbage but is more bitter and peppery.

How to Cut Bok Choy How to Cut Bok Choy

How to Cut Bok Choy

In case you were wondering, the whole plant is edible so you technically could eat it entirely without chopping off any parts. However, it’s best to trim off part of the base since the texture is tougher than the rest of the vegetable.

And always rinse each bulb thoroughly to get rid of dirt and granules!

Whether you are using large bok choy or baby bok choy doesn’t make much of a difference in the way it’s prepared. I prefer using baby bok choy because I’m not big on the watery, chewy stalks of large bok choy, but this is subjective to your personal taste.

  • Bok choy halves are delicious served with a simple sauce over rice, as a side, or in soups. Simply slice each bulb in the center, lengthwise, and rinse well under cold water. Cook using your favorite method or recipe.
  • This cruciferous vegetable can also be chopped into bite size pieces or on the bias. This is great for stir fries, soups, as an addition to fried rice, or noodles. Start by separating the stalks and place them in a colander. Rinse and drain well to remove any dirt or sand. Pat dry using a paper towel and place them on a cutting board. Hold the stems in place and chop the stalks into bite size pieces, or on the bias. Cook using your favorite method or recipe.

 

Baby Bok Choy

Sautéed and Stir Fried Bok Choy

  • Cut the bok choy in half, lengthwise, or into bite size pieces, and rinse well under water to remove any dirt or sand. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it’s hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, swirl it around to coat the pan, and add the bok choy.
  • For halves, place the cut side down and cook without moving for 2 minutes. Flip them over and cook for one more minute. For bite size pieces, stir frequently for 3 minutes using chopsticks or a sauté spoon.
  • If you are using a sauce, pour the sauce just before turning off the heat as bok choy can be very watery. You want to let the water evaporate before adding any liquid.
  • If you are using garlic and/or ginger, add when there’s 1 minute left to the cooking process to prevent them from burning.

To stir fry bok choy:

  • Cut the bok choy in half, lengthwise, or into bite size pieces, and rinse well under water to remove any dirt or sand. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it’s very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, swirl it around to coat the pan, and add the bok choy.
  • For halves, place the cut side down and cook without moving for 1 minute. Flip them over and cook for one more minute. For bite size pieces, stir constantly for 2 minutes using chopsticks or a sauté spoon.
  • If you are using a sauce, pour the sauce just before turning off the heat as bok choy can be very watery. You want to let the water evaporate before adding any liquid.
  • If you are using garlic and/or ginger, add when there’s 1 minute left to the cooking process to prevent them from burning.

My favorite ways to eat stir fried or sauteed bok choy:

How to Stir Fry/ Grill Bok Choy

Grilled bok choy

  • Preheat your grill to medium high heat.
  • Slice the bok choy in half, lengthwise, and brush a little oil on both sides.
  • Place the bok choy, cut side facing down, on the grill and close it.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and flip them over. Close the grill and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

My favorite ways to eat grilled bok choy:

  • With a little butter and soy sauce
  • Grated parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Fish sauce and Thai chilis

 

How to steam bok choy

Steamed bok choy

  • Fill a pot with 2 inches of water and bring it to boil.
  • Cut the bok choy in half, lengthwise, or into bite size pieces, and rinse well under water to remove any dirt or sand. Drain well.
  • Place the bok choy in a steamer basket and place it over the simmering water.
  • Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and steam for 4-6 minutes, until desired consistency.

My favorite ways to eat steamed bok choy:

  • With braised shiitake mushroom and a mix of hoisin sauce and oyster sauce
  • Dressed with a little Kewpie mayo and sichimi togarashi
  • With black bean sauce
how to boil bok choy

Boiled Bok Choy

  • Bring a pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon salt.
  • Slice the bok choy in half, lengthwise,  and rinse well under water to remove any dirt or sand. Drain well.
  • Add bok choy to the boiling water and lower the heat to medium low. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until desired consistency.
  • Drain well and serve.

My favorite ways to eat boiled bok choy:

  • In soups! Instead of boiling them in water I like to boil them in dashi, vegetable or chicken broth, with other vegetables.
  • With ramen or udon noodles that come with seasoning for the soup. I add the bok choy at the same time as I add the noodles.
How to roast Bok Choy

Roasted bok choy

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Slice the bok choy in half, lengthwise, or into bite size pieces, and rinse well under water to remove any dirt or sand. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Add the bok choy to a baking tray along with 1-2 tablespoons oil (depending on how much bok choy you are using. I recommend 1 tablespoon oil for every 8 ounces of bok choy) and toss using your finger.
  • Season with salt and pepper and separate the bok choy so each half or piece is laying flat on the baking tray.
  • Roast in the center rack for 6-8 minutes, until desired consistency.

My favorite ways to eat roasted bok choy:

  • With peanut sauce
  • Brushed with a little miso paste and rice vinegar
  • With chili garlic sauce or sriracha sauce.
  • With a little chopped kimchi on top, a drizzle of sesame oil and sesame seeds.
How to Prepare Bok Choy

How to Store Bok Choy

Do not wash bok choy before storing it as the moisture will promote rot. If you have already washed it, leave it until it has completely dried.

  • Store it in a plastic bag, sealed, and put it in your crisper. This way it will keep for about 4-6 days. You can also wrap it in paper towel and then put it in a plastic bag, sealed. This will extend its life by a couple of days.

Can it be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze bok choy! Once again, make sure all the leaves and stems are dry and place them in an airtight storage bag. Get as much air out of the bag and seal it. Frozen bok choy will keep for 10-12 months.

Some of my favorite bok choy recipes from the blog:

Did you like this How to Cook Bok Choy Tutorial? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

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How to Cook Bok Choy

 Learn how to cook bok choy with this easy step-by-step tutorial!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pound baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise, rinsed, drained, and patted dry.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix the soy sauce, mirin, and miso paste, and keep stirring until the miso paste has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, add sesame oil, and swirl the pan to coat it evenly.
  3. Place the bok choy halves, cut side face down, and cook for 2 minutes without moving them around.
  4. Flip the bok choy and cook for an additional minute and add the sauce.
  5. Stir quickly to coat the bok choy, turn the heat off and transfer to a plate.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes

Leftovers: Keep refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.

To store or freeze bok choy, please refer to the instructions written above this recipe.

Keywords: vegetarian, dim sum, pak choi, pok choi, appetizer

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