How to cook Bok Choy
Bok choy can be used in soups, stir fry, grilled, roasted, or left raw. Because the leaves and stalks have such different textures, it can be great for adding layers to a meal: buttery leaves and slightly bitter, crisp stalks.
Separate the leaves from the stalks to avoid overcooking the tender greens. Cut an inch from the bottom of the heads, then separate the leaves from the stems and rinse thoroughly. If you’re looking to leave the heads whole, don’t trim, but still wash well.
How to buy Bok Choy
Look for heads that have fresh, crisp green leaves, and stalks that are solid in color (either green or white) and free of blemishes. If cooking, the size of the head doesn’t have much effect on the meal, but if serving raw, grab the smaller heads.
How to store Bok Choy
You can store in a plastic bag with a tea towel in the refrigerator, or I also like to store in a sealed glass container with a dry tea towel. In either case, use bok choy within a few days of purchasing.
Baby Bok Choy
Shanghai Bok Choy
This brassica is most synonymous with Asian cooking, specifically stir-fry. The mild flavor of bok choy is great to use in soups and noodle bowls. However, my favorite way to prepare bok choy is on the grill. The lightly blackened flavor is such a wonderful addition to the slightly crisp texture of the stems. I’ll often buy baby bok choy and leave them whole, making them the star of the show with a few nuts, extra vegetables, and sauce.
Bok choy also has a few different names (like Pak choi or Chinese cabbage), so don’t be confused if you see something that looks identical to bok choy, but is called something else. This plant is typically lumped in with the other Asian greens, but I use it enough in my kitchen that it seemed like it should have it’s own page. I also like this way of freezing Bok Choy that doesn’t require blanching.
A few notes about cooking: bok choy shouldn’t be overcooked. The crisp texture will give way to an unappealing, not-quite-mush appearance, while the leaves will become too soggy. I prefer to add the leaves at the end of cooking, like I would spinach.