BOK CHOY BASICS
from SPRUCE EATS
Bok choy has the fabulously crisp texture one expects from a member of the cabbage family with a fresh, grassy flavor that increases in nuttiness as you cook it. Bok choy is most commonly used in stir-fries and sautés, and those are great applications. A short braise in a flavorful liquid works, too, as does throwing in some baby bok choy leaves or chopped bok choy towards the end of roasting meat or to a pan of roasted vegetables.
How to Stir-Fry Bok Choy
This is the quickest and easiest way to cook bok choy.
1. Separate the bok choy into leaves. Chop larger leaves into bite size-pieces.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the surface and when the oil is hot, add the bok choy and cook, stirring constantly, until the bok choy is wilted and tender, about 3 minutes for crisp-tender bok choy and up to 8 minutes for fully tender and browned leaves.
3. Add soy sauce to taste and serve.
If you want to add aromatics like garlic, green onions, or ginger, add minced versions towards the end of cooking to get all their flavor without risking browning them.
How to Braise Bok Choy
Slowly cooking bok choy in a simmering liquid makes it silky and tender.
1. Separate the bok choy into leaves. Chop larger leaves into bite size-pieces.
2. Heat a wok or medium pot over medium heat. Put the bok choy and enough chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water to almost cover the leaves in the pot, add salt to taste, and bring to a simmer.
3. Cover, adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the leaves are wonderfully tender, about 20 minutes.
To add aromatics like minced garlic and/or ginger, or chile paste, add oil to the pot first and cook the aromatics, stirring constantly, until they’re extra fragrant, about 1 minute, before adding the bok choy and broth.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds or drizzle with toasted sesame oil at the end for a lovely touch.
How to Roast Bok Choy
A less common, but awfully tasty way to serve these unique leaves.
1. Separate the bok choy leaves and chop them.
2. Put the bok choy in a roasting pan, drizzle with oil, toss to coat the bok choy, and sprinkle it salt.
3. Roast in a hot oven (anywhere between 350 F and 425 F) until the leaves are tender and starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
You can also simply toss them in a roasting pan around a chicken for that last 20 minutes of cooking.
A Note About Baby Bok Choy
Baby bok choy is more tender than its bigger cousins, and a wee bit sweeter. It can be cooked whole, chopped like larger bok choy, or separated into leaves when cooked.
A NOTE FROM FOOD 52
Remember that bok choy’s cluster of stalks hides dirt, so wash it well. For mature bok choy, slice a layer off the base, separate the stalks by gently pulling each one off at the base as you would celery, and then wash as you would lettuce. Baby bok choy preparations often call for halving or quartering, so with the base intact, you’ll want to make sure to throughly get any grit out. Either swish them around in a bowl of water or clean them under running water (like Merrill does with leeks).
SAUTEED BOK CHOY
From New York Times, Sam Sifton
1 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, like canola
1 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 ½-inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or to taste
2 bunches of bok choy, approximately 1½ pounds, cleaned, with the ends trimmed
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chicken stock or water
Toasted sesame oil for drizzling
–In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. Add garlic, ginger and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
–Add bok choy and stir carefully to cover with oil, then cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, stock or water, then cover pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes more, until steam begins to escape from beneath the lid of the pan.
–Uncover and continue to cook until liquid is close to evaporated and stalks are sot to the touch, approximately 3 minutes more.
–Remove to a warmed platter and drizzle with sesame oil.
Braised Bok Choy (or Endive, Escarole or Radicchio)
Adapted from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 bok choy, trimmed at base and cleaned
¼ C minced prosciutto or dry-cured ham (optional)
½ C chicken, beef or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice or white wine vinegar
–Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium or large non-stick skillet that can later be covered.
–Add the bok choy and cook, turning once or twice, until they begin to brown.
–Add the ham, stock, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over the lowest possible heat, turning occasionally, until very tender, about 20 minutes (or up to 45 for endive, escarole or radicchio).
–Drizzle with lemon juice or vinegar and serve.
Soba Noodle Salad with Bok Choy
(from the Kitchn)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks (a mandoline works great for this!)
2 bunches bok choy, sliced into ribbons
1/2 pound dried soba noodles
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
2-4 eggs (optional)
–Fill a medium-sized sauce pan with water and bring it to a boil. Drop the carrots and one tablespoon of salt into the boiling water. Blanch the carrots for 30-60 seconds (depending on how cooked you like them) and then lift them out with a slotted spoon or small strainer. Run the carrots under cold water to stop the cooking and then empty them into a medium-sized bowl.
–Let the water come back to a boil and add the bok choy. Blanch for 30 seconds and then remove using a slotted spoon or small strainer. Run them under cool water and then add them to the carrots.
–Let the water come to a boil again and cook the soba noodles according to package instructions (usually 5-8 minutes, until al dente). Strain the noodles, cool them down, and add them to the bowl with the carrots and bok choy. Add the scallions and cucumbers to the bowl and toss everything gently together.
–Whisk together the sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and hot sauce (if using). Pour this over the noodles and vegetables, and then toss until everything is evenly coated.
–If cooking eggs, empty all but 4 inches of the water and let it come back to a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs into individual measuring cups. Add a splash of white vinegar to the water and slip the cracked eggs in one at a time. Poach for 4 minutes for soft boiled eggs or 5 minutes for a firmer yolk. Strain and set aside until serving. –Divide salad into individual bowls and add a poached egg to each bowl. Salad can be served warm or cold, and it can keep refrigerated for about 3 days.
STIR-FRIED MUSHROOMS AND BOK CHOY (DONGGU PEI SHUCAI)
Bok choy undergoes a pleasing transformation when stir-fried: the crunchy white stem develops a caramelized flavor, and the leaves wilt slightly, acquiring a mild sweetness.
Todd Coleman, Saveur
My friend Pan Suefen refers to this kind of preparation as a “dry” stir-fry, because there’s no sauce. The focus here is on earthy mushrooms and brightly flavored bok choy, exploited to their fullest to produce a final result that is greater than the sum of its parts. I love how the dried mushrooms, reconstituted in water, take on a satisfying, slightly chewy texture and a deep umami flavor in the hot oil. The bok choy undergoes a pleasing transformation as well: the crunchy white stem develops a caramelized flavor as it’s left alone for a minute with its cut surface in direct contact with the wok, and the leaves wilt slightly, acquiring a mild sweetness as they cook.
6 large dried mushrooms, such as shiitake
1 tbsp. canola oil
1?2 lb. small bok choy, halved lengthwise
1?4 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
–Put mushrooms into a medium bowl of water and soak for 2 hours. Drain; squeeze any excess water from the mushrooms and cut off stems. (note from LS: Or use fresh mushrooms) Cut mushrooms into ¼”-thick slices. Heat a 14″ wok (or stainless-steel skillet) over high heat until wok begins to smoke. Add oil around the edge of the wok and swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate; set aside.
–Return wok to high heat until it begins to smoke. Add bok choy cut side down, along with 2 tbsp. water, and cook, without stirring, until the water evaporates, about 1 minute.
–Add sugar and season with salt. Vigorously stir and toss bok choy until it’s bright green and wilted, about 1 more minute.
–Return mushrooms to wok, toss to combine, and cook until the flavors meld, about 30 seconds. Transfer mushrooms and bok choy to a serving platter and serve hot or at room temperature.
STIR-FRIED BOK CHOY AND MIZUNA WITH TOFU
adapted from a recipe Bon Appétit | January 2011 by Melissa Clark
3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
3 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
1 14- to 16-ounce container extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped-or use Garlic Scapes, finely chopped
4 bok choy, leaves separated (or use spinach)
12 cups loosely packed mizuna (about 8 ounces)-or one bunch from your CSA share
–Whisk 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar in bowl.
–Stack 2 paper towels on work surface. Cut tofu crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices; cut each slice crosswise in half. Arrange tofu on paper towels and let stand 10 minutes. Pat top of tofu dry.
–Heat peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, without moving, until golden brown on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to paper towel to drain, then place tofu on sheet of foil and brush both sides with soy sauce mixture.
–Wipe out any peanut oil from skillet. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil and place skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce and 3 teaspoons vinegar, then bok choy. Toss until bok choy wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mizuna in 2 batches, tossing to wilt before adding more, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Season greens with salt and pepper. Add tofu to skillet. Toss gently to blend. Transfer to platter.
BOK CHOY SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE DRESSING—from Cooking Light
Bok choy adds a funky edge to our riff on a classic steak house salad. Charring the bok choy lends the leaves crisp-tender contrast and a hint of smokiness. A screaming-hot cooking surface is the trick to marking and warming the cabbage without cooking it too much. Grilled bok choy has a pleasantly bitter edge, which is softened by the sweet tomatoes and cooling contrast of tangy blue cheese dressing. Ready in just 15 minutes, this simple salad is full of fresh ingredients and bold flavors. Serve it with a soy-basted steak or piece of grilled fish for a steak house–quality meal at home
4 (4-oz.) bok choy heads, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup halved grape tomatoes (about 6 oz.)
1/4 cup crispy fried onions (such as French’s)
–Heat a grill pan over high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place bok choy halves, cut side down, on pan. Cook 2 minutes per side, until both sides are marked and lightly charred. Remove from pan.
–Stir together buttermilk, blue cheese, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Place bok choy halves, cut side up, on a serving platter. Top evenly with buttermilk dressing, and sprinkle evenly with tomatoes and fried onions.
GUY FIERI’S BEST BOK CHOY RECIPE
Yield: 4 servings
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 1/2 cups green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
2 cups cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, halved and sliced
3 baby bok choy, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
Freshly cracked black pepper
–In a wok or large saute pan, add the grapeseed oil and when almost smoking, add the onions and bell peppers. Saute, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the green beans and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more.
–Add the bok choy, garlic, soy sauce, and fish sauce and saute until just wilted. Add pepper, to taste, and serve immediately.