Besides throwing bok choy into soups at the last stage of cooking, there are other ways to enjoy this Chinese vegetable.
One fast and easy way to cook it is to quick fry it lightly seasoned with soy sauce or oyster sauce. Add chicken, pork, beef, mushrooms, and more to this basic set.
Here are a few bok choy recipes for your consideration.
Garlic Bok Choy
Garlic is indispensable when stir-frying bok choy.
The cooking video below showing CookingBomb stir-frying bok choy with garlic and ginger is quite fun to watch. She uses a dry wok to pre-cook the bok choy before stir-frying. This reduces the chance of overcooking the bok choy causing it to lose its crunch. It is unconventional but it works. Blanching is another way to pre-cook bok choy.
500g bok choy, washed and separated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 slices of ginger
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tbsp oyster sauce or salt
Heat up a wok or large frying pan
Add the bok choy to the dry wok and stir them to distribute and pre-cook them evenly
When the bok choy soften, remove
In the same wok, heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil, add the ginger and garlic
Lower the heat slightly and fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant
Add the bok choy back into the wok
Add around 1 tbsp cooking wine and 1 tbsp oyster sauce
Stir fry till bok choy is cooked but still green
You can use salt if you do not have oyster sauce.
Chicken Bok Choy
Bok choy and chicken goes quite well together in a stir-fry. Chicken breast, chicken thighs are good parts to use.
Image source: Kim at https://www.flickr.com/photos/thegirlsny/5052146543
3 pieces of chicken breast
5 stalks of bok choy
2 cloves garlic
Pepper and sesame seed oil
1/4 cup soup stock
Clean and slice the chicken breast into short strips
Marinate it with 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp corn starch
Separate the stems of the bok choy and wash thoroughly
Chop the garlic roughly
Heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a rounded pan, fry the garlic quickly.
Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for about 10 minutes and then add the bok choy
Stir to mix the chicken and bok choy
Add the soup stock and bring to a boil
Add 1 tbsp oyster sauce and mix it well. Add a little corn starch mixture (optional)
Lower the heat, cover, and cook till the bok choy is done
Add a dash of pepper and sesame seed oil before serving
Mushroom Bok Choy
Fresh shiitake or Chinese mushrooms makes a great stir-fry companion too. Follow the recipe above but substitute the chicken with mushrooms. Alternatively, you can try your hand at the dish below.
Chinese mushrooms with bok choy 香菇小棠菜 (xiang gu xiao tang cai) is a Chinese New Year dish. The bok choy is pre-cooked by blanching. They are then placed on a serving plate with the stems facing out to resemble a flower before the simmered mushrooms are placed in the centre. It looks good and tastes good.
Good for a family of 4 to 5.
15 stalks of baby bok choy
12 fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock / vegetable stock
Soy sauce, sesame seed oil
Soak and wash the baby bok choy thoroughly. Make sure to remove any dirt or soil from in between stems. If you cannot find baby bok choy, then half the normal bok choy.
Remove the stems of the mushrooms and cut them into thick slices
Bring a wok of water to a boil and add half a tbsp cooking oil
Add the bok choy as shown in the video to blanch them for about 2 minutes
Remove the bok choy
Bring the same water to a boil and add the mushrooms to blanch for 3 minutes
Remove the mushrooms
Clean the wok and heat up 1 tbsp cooking oil
Fry the chopped garlic for about 30 seconds. Add 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, stir to mix
Add the mushrooms, stir-fry for a while and then add sufficient water to simmer the mushrooms
Remove and place in a small round bowl
Clean the wok, heat up 1 tbsp cooking oil, and add a tsp salt
Throw in the bok choy.
Gently stir fry the vegetables, salt, and oil. You can add a little corn starch slurry to give the bok choy a slight sheen
Remove the bok choy like a flower on a serving plate
Place the cooked mushrooms in the middle
Bok Choy Rice
Bok choy rice is a traditional Shanghai dish. I suspect it is created to use up leftover white rice.
The method is quite easy. Chop up some bok choy, stir fry them with some Chinese ham or Chinese sausage. Add to leftover rice and mix thoroughly. Done!
Chinese ham can be substituted with bacon, pancetta, chorizo, serrano, or any preserved fatty meat.
See how it is done by a Shanghainese lady in the cooking video below.
Steamed Bok Choy
If stir-frying is not your thing, you can try blanching or steaming them.
After steaming or blanching, toss or drizzle with a mixture of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seed oil. Top with crispy fried shallots or onions and serve. Or you may like to consider this bok choy recipe: Steamed Bok Choy and Glass Noodles 蒸青菜粉丝 (zheng qing cai fen si)
3 stalks of bok choy, sliced thinly
1 bundle of glass noodles or mung bean vermicelli, soaked about 10 minutes
1/2 small carrot, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce + 1 tbsp water for the dressing + sesame seed oil (optional)
Clean the sliced bok choy thoroughly
Arrange them like a flower with the leaves facing inwards on a steaming plate
Place the glass noodles on top of the bok choy in the middle. Like the centre of a flower
Place the chopped carrot, garlic on top of the glass noodles
Bring a steamer of water to a boil, place the steaming plate in and steam for about 5 to 7 minutes
Garnish with chopped green onion and drizzle with the diluted oyster sauce
Last but not least, I wanted to introduce this showstopper recipe: Bok Choy with Stuffed Mushrooms. I am sure this is an upgraded version of the Chinese New Year dish mentioned above.
Why is it a show-stopper? Not only is blanched bok choy decorated as flower petals, the mushrooms are stuffed with a ground pork paste and steamed. The steamed stuffed mushrooms are then placed in the middle of the plate. The whole dish is topped off with a slightly thickened savoury sauce. It looks amazing.
Oyster sauce is mentioned frequently in this article. It is a ubiquitous condiment in Chinese cuisine. It is made with oysters and usually comes in glass bottles. It is a multi-purpose condiment used to season or marinate as well as a sauce base.
There are vegetarian versions made from mushrooms, premium versions with dried scallops, as well as gluten-free ones. You can find them on Amazon and Shopee.
Glass noodles is also a common Chinese dried ingredient. It is made from mung bean powder. When cooked, it has a nice springy texture. I like to use it in soups and salads. The brand I use is available on Amazon:
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