Have you seen a weird-looking celery-like cabbage?
This vegetable we have seen multiple times in Kimchi tutorials, in the cute ‘Bao’ Pixar short film, in some kitchens and supermarkets, and sometimes just at home is a popular Chinese vegetable from the cabbage family called the Bok Choy.
It has a bulb-like shape at the bottom and has white and green leaves on the top. Bok Choy can be a tasty meal accompaniment; use it in salad, soups, or in side dishes. You can also use them as filling-in dumplings, spring rolls, and steamed buns.
Want to know how to cook bok choy? Then, stick to the end of the article to know more.
1. What Is Bok Choy?
Bok Choy is a Chinese plant that has mild flavors and is juicy and versatile. It has a slightly bitter green flavor with mild spices and undertones of mustard.
You can consume the whole of bok choy, including the leaves. Its versatility allows it to be included in various recipes. You can either mix it into a stir-fry or soup or put it in a large bowl. Alternatively, you can eat raw in salads, sandwiches, and wraps!
2. What Does Bok Choy Taste Like?
Bok choy is mild in taste compared to other types. It has an unusual sweet taste. Raw bok choy has a cabbage-like or celery-like taste, which is slightly bitter.
2.1. How Do You Make Bok Choy Less Bitter?
You need to learn how to make choy less bitter. This will enhance its taste and help make a delicious meal.
You have different methods to reduce the bitterness.
The primary method is blanching. The first steps involve boiling it briefly before draining it into warm water. It can help eliminate a little bitterness. Then massage the bok choy. It reduces the stiffness of some fibers, thereby increasing their softness. If you’re still feeling the bitterness, then cook the book choy with some sugar.
You can blanch it before cooking. Bring water to the boil and add the halved or cut bok choy. Cook for 30-60 seconds or until warm and bright. Cooked bok choy lasts about three days in an air-tight package.
3. How Do You Prepare Bok Choy for Cooking?
To dice bok choy first, remove the leaf from one stalk and cut lengthwise into three long strips about the same width. Get them grouped and trim them into thin quarter-inch sections horizontally. It is perfect for soup or dressing.
3.1. Blanching or Not Blanching
Cooking bok choy involves blanching. Some people suggest blanching bok choy stems first and then stirring them in the pan before frying them.
The stems are cooked much longer than the leaves. You can blanch the larger stems together with warm water and add them to the leaves to cook evenly and soften.
When cooking the baby bok choy, you should prepare it in its whole form for the right texture between stalk roots and leaves. Once blanched, make sure to dry it before placing it in the hot wok. The result is better.
Baby bok Choys are smaller and have delicate flavors, while bigger ones are larger and stronger. Both of the kinds are rich in vitamins and minerals and are nutritious.
3.1.1. Preparing Large Bok Choy
- For a large variety, wash and thoroughly dry the leaf and stem.
- Take away leafy green parts and stack them together.
- Cut into thin strips approximately 1/2 to 1 inch in length. It may be added to soups, stews or stirred up after cooking.
3.1.2. Preparing Baby Bok Choy
Baby food can be eaten raw or in small amounts.
- Start by placing them in warm water and dumping them into cold water several times. The rinse is easy under the water pressure.
- Remove excess oil and dry the interior thoroughly.
- When cutting bok choy in half after washing, ensure that it is dry. This will help with sautéing and stir-frying.
The whole portion is ideal for stewed or boiled foods.
4. Bok Choy Recipes
4.1. Bok Choy Salad
- Start by cutting off the bok choy stem and not tearing it too thin.
- Cut off the thick stems to allow the bok choy to cook evenly.
- Remove leaves of bok choy and rinse under running water.
- Finely mince garlic and ginger. Greasing helps break down hard fiber.
- Put cooking oil in the cooking pan. Add garlic, ginger, and the bok choy to the pan. Bring up the heat.
- Give them a light fry. You can also add other ingredients according to your preference. Serve them in a bowl and garnish with some lime wedges and black pepper.
- Cut the bok choy into bite-size pieces
- Blanch the bok choy to soften the leaves
- You can use chicken, shrimp, or beef to add to your stir-fry
- Add peppers, garlic, sauces, and condiments to enhance the deliciousness,
4.3. Flavor Boosters
To enhance the flavor of bok choy, you can use butter, thyme, ginger, or garlic. Incorporations of spices create layers of flavor. Ginger mince and chopped garlic provide the perfect mix of zest and earthiness.
Cook them on high heat with vegetable oils to make them fragrant and delicate. Using sauces also enhances the flavor. You can use soy sauce, vegetable broth, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and chili powder.
5.1. Which Is the Most Recommended Method for Cooking Bok Choy?
The dry-heat method is the easiest to use, and it produces the best contrast of textures, while browning adds heightened flavors to the dish. Whole bok Choys or halves (bok choy in half or bok choy cut) cook for around 5 – 10 minutes.
5.2. Which Part of Bok Choy Do You Eat?
The whole of bok choy can be consumed. Bok choy stalks are crisp and mildly flavored. The leaves remain soft despite being slightly cooked.
5.3. What Other Ingredients Can I Use?
Bok choy can be used with various other ingredients. You can also use hoisin sauce, pak choy, steamed rice, dark green leaves, sauteed onion, sesame oil, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, oyster sauce, Chinese cabbage, cruciferous vegetables, avocado oil, lemon juice, snow peas, or Chinese white cabbage. You can also pair it with baked fish and fresh veggies or leafy greens.
6. Bottom Line
Bok choi contains various nutrients, including vitamins B6 and C. It also contains a good source of fiber that may help lower cholesterol or prevent cancer.
Bok Choy can become your next favorite vegetable. Add bok choy to your daily diet and indulge in its nutritiousness and deliciousness.