Bok choy is a kind of Chinese white cabbage that, along with kale, brussels sprouts, and broccoli, is considered a cruciferous vegetable.
It belongs to the Brassica family of plants and is indigenous to China. It is also known as pak choi. It is the most popular cabbage family vegetable in China. However, it is consumed globally.
This article will focus on how to cook bok choy and its health benefits.
1. Nutrition in Bok Choy
How to cook bok choy? Bok choy has a high concentration of elements that are good for your health, including a variety of vitamins and minerals, just like other leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.
Vitamins C and K are notably abundant in bok choy. Moreover, fiber is included, a vital ingredient that can only be found in plant-based diets. Fiber promotes intestinal health and lowers the risk of several chronic illnesses.
2. What does Bok Choy Taste Like
Similar to other cabbages, bok choy has a tender crisp, crunchy texture, and slightly bitter, and delicate flavor. Cooked bok choy has a faint nuttiness. Baby bok choy is a little bit sweeter.
3. Varieties of Bok Choy
Bok choy comes in two primary varieties: Regular and Shanghai. Shanghai bok choy has smoother, oval-shaped leaves with light green stalks as opposed to regular bok choy’s white stalks and darker, crinkly leaves.
Shanghai bok choy is milder and sweeter than regular bok choy, which has a little more mineral flavor. Both varieties are also accessible in their “baby” or immature forms.
Bok choy should be cooked and consumed as soon as possible after being purchased, while it is at its most fresh and crisp. Bok choy may be kept for two to three days, lightly wrapped in plastic, in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Following that, the stalks may lose their crunch and the leaves may begin to droop. You may keep it for up to a week if you purchased it at a farmer’s market just after it was newly harvested.
It attracts numerous insects, including cabbage white butterflies, since it is a plant with thick, sensitive leaves. In order to safeguard their crops, some producers may resort to using chemical pesticides.
Always give the veggie a thorough wash to get rid of any leftovers. If you are worried about chemical usage, try to get a bok choy that is labeled as organic, or purchase it at your neighborhood farmers market where you may question the producers about their use of chemicals.
6. Health Benefits of Bok Choy
The micronutrient content of bok choy is responsible for many of its health advantages.
Antioxidants, which are substances that shield your cells from oxidative damage that may cause inflammation and a number of chronic illnesses, are another component found in abundance in bok choy.
6.1. Protection from Cancer
Many cruciferous vegetables, including bok choy, have anti-cancer effects.
Folate is present in bok choy. Folate helps produce and repair DNA, which means that it may stop cancer cells from developing as a result of DNA mutations.
Strong antioxidant qualities included in these foods aid in preventing free radical damage to cells. Bok choy includes the mineral selenium.
Selenium reduces the pace of tumor development and inhibits inflammation.
6.2. Bone Health
Bok choy contains nutrients that help to develop and maintain bone health and structure, including iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K.
Collagen is produced and grows as a result of the critical functions that iron and zinc play.
Both calcium and phosphorus are crucial for bone health. However, both of these nutrients must be carefully balanced for healthy bone formation. Bone loss can be caused by a diet high in phosphorus and low in calcium.
Vitamin K may help lower the risk of bone fractures by maintaining the calcium balance in the bones.
6.3. Anti-inflammatory Properties
By reducing inflammation in the body, quercetin which is present in bok choy may lower your chance of contracting many chronic illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
6.4. Lowers the Risk of Heart Diseases
In many ways, bok choy may reduce your chance of getting heart disease. It includes folate and vitamin B6 to start. These foods assist in the blood’s homocysteine removal. Your blood vessels can get damaged by too much homocysteine, which raises your chance of developing heart issues.
The vegetable also contains significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which naturally lower blood pressure.
Getting adequate potassium can help lower salt-induced high blood pressure. The chance of developing heart-related issues can be decreased by lowering excessive blood pressure.
6.5. Eye Health
Beta-carotene helps keep your eyes healthy as you age and may reduce your chance of getting age-related eye illnesses. Moreover, bok choy has some vitamin A and beta-carotene in it.
6.6. Skin Health
Vitamin C is present in bok choy. It could assist in lowering the likelihood that the sun, dust, and pollution can harm your skin. Moreover, vitamin C contributes to the body’s normal collagen production and may help prevent aging symptoms like wrinkles and fine lines.
Bok choy contains vitamin K. Proper blood clotting is aided by vitamin K, which can be problematic for those on blood thinners like warfarin. Before using bok choy in your diet if you use such drugs, consult your doctor.
Salicylates, a class of chemicals linked to aspirin, are also present in the vegetable. You should discuss with your doctor if you have aspirin sensitivity.
8. How to Cook Bok Choy
Bok choy may be prepared in several ways, including steaming, braising (like using clay pots), and simmering. They, however, have a tendency to overcook the stems and produce a mushy consistency. The vegetable should only be cooked for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the manner and size of the vegetable, or until the stalks are barely soft.
You can use bok choy in a variety of recipes. It is a common component in Asian dishes, especially in soups and stir-fry. It may be prepared in a matter of minutes as a fast side dish for dinner.
Here are some easy recipes to make delicious bok choy. We will learn them step by step.
8.1. 10-Minute Lemon Garlic Sauteed Bok Choy Recipe
- Prepare a large bok choy. Bok Choy’s outer, discolored stems should be removed and thrown away (or saved for stock later).
- After cutting each bok choy in half lengthwise, trim the ends. Instead, chop them into quarters if they are huge. Clean off.
- A cold skillet should be placed over medium heat. Add oil in a large skillet along with, minced garlic and ginger, and red pepper flakes. The cool skillet keeps the garlic from becoming too browned.
- In the skillet, cook the bok choy in a single layer. Add a little salt and heat the food without stirring until the bottom is beginning to brown.
- Cook after flipping until the white bottoms start to soften but still retain some firmness and the green leaves have wilted.
- Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice.
8.2. Stir Fry Bok Choy Recipe
- Tamari, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, fresh ginger, garlic, and sesame oil are combined to make the sauce. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles as directed on the box in a saucepan of salted boiling water. Rinse, drain, and set aside the noodles.
- Warm the oil. Add the broccoli and shiitake mushrooms, toss to combine, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the broccoli starts to color and the mushrooms start to soften.
- Add the edamame, bok choy, and scallions after giving the pan a thorough shake and toss. Saute for a further 2 minutes, stirring now and again, until the bok choy and broccoli are soft but still vivid.
- Toss in the noodles and vegetables after adding. Re-toss after adding the sauce. Add a lime squeeze. Adjust spices according to taste. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
- Extra lime slices and sambal or sriracha sauce on the side should be served.
8.3. Roasted Bok Choy Recipe
- Set the oven to 400 degrees. Put the bok choy on a baking sheet with a rim. Add a few peppercorns and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake until stalks are soft.
- Sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar should all be combined in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Place the bok choy on a tray or serving dish. Add dressing and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve this bok choy dish right away.
8.4. Bok Choy Chicken Soup Recipe
- To make this delicious recipe, boil the chicken broth.
- Add the garlic, soy sauce, Asian sesame oil, and red pepper flakes after stirring.
- Add the Bok Choy leaves to the soup. Bok choy leaves should be simmered for up to 10 minutes, or until they are wilted and soft. Serve right away. Do try this easy bok choy recipe.
8.5. Lion’s Head Meatballs With Chinese Cabbage Recipe
- Bok choy leaves should be washed and drained. Make 3-inch strips by cutting crosswise.
- Ginger and green onion should be minced.
- Fork-beat the egg in a small basin.
- Use your fingers to completely incorporate the ground pork, green onion, ginger, salt, sugar, dry sherry, sesame oil, pepper, egg, and an additional tablespoon of soy sauce in a medium bowl.
- Start with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and add 1 teaspoon at a time, adjusting the amount as necessary to get the proper consistency and prevent the mixture from becoming too moist.
- 4 big meatballs made of ground pork should be formed. So that they are not entirely circular, slightly flatten them.
- In a pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the 4 meatballs to the heated oil. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the bottom is browned. Cook the opposite side after turning.
- Heat the chicken stock and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to boiling in a flameproof casserole dish or saucepan big enough to handle the meatballs.
- Add the meatballs, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Add the bok choy to the saucepan, either arranged on top of the meatballs so that it steams or, if there is space, placed straight in the broth.
- Continue to simmer until the meatballs are well cooked and the middles are pink-free.
- Lion’s head meatballs can be served in soup bowls with some bok choy and liquid or on tiny plates surrounded by greens. You may also add cornstarch and water thickening to a portion of the broth before adding it to the meatballs. Ensure to have a running water system for this step.
- Serve this bok choy dish hot.
9. Substitutes for Bok Choy
Most bok choy dishes, especially those that call for stir-frying, pair surprisingly nicely with cabbage.
Swiss chard should be simple to get in your local store, and is a suitable substitute. It can very much replace mature bok choy rather well. But, you might also need to chop up the baby bok choy if the recipe asks for it.
Yu choy, commonly referred to as choy sum, is a smaller-sized kind of leafy green. Yet because their proportions are so close, we can replace bok choy thanks to this. Also, they both have tastes that are crisp and slightly bitter.
Suggested reading: Best Cabbage Diet Soup Recipe – 4 Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight Fast
10. Final Note
How to Cook Bok Choy? One of the well-liked green veggies with few calories is bok choy. Yet, it is a rich source of several essential phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and health-improving antioxidants.
Bok choy is a vegetable that can be found all year round, but the winter is when it is at its finest. Get fresh produce in the markets, including sturdy stalks and tasty, crispy, dark-green leaves. Steer clear of drooping plants with withered, dull leaves.
Do add bok choy to your diet. Regularly consuming it as part of your diet keeps your body healthy and content.