This Easy Recipe for Bok Choy is quick to make and downright delicious to eat. It’s pan seared to caramelized perfection and makes a great side dish to any meal. Or use it in all your favourite Bok Choy or Chinese inspired recipes.
Do you love Bok Choy?! Cause I do. However, as much as I love this healthy and vibrant green leafy vegetable, it seems I alllllways forget about how good it is until I break the spell and whip up a batch. It’s similar to zucchini for me in that sense – it’s like I need that little reminder of just how delicious these veggies are even when cooked in the simplest of ways. But that’s the best part, isn’t it? Being able to just cook something up in basically it’s purest form but still end up with deliciousness at its finest. And when we’re specifically speaking about this Easy Recipe for Bok Choy, I can promise you that it’s not only delicious AF but it’s also SO much better than any Bok Choy you can find at any Chinese takeout counter. Don’t believe me? Then try it for yourself!
I’m not going to lie, growing up we didn’t often find Bok Choy as part of the dinner menu (if ever at all). Probably because my very Italian parents had one leafy green staple and one leafy green staple only. If you’re also Italian then you can probably guess that rapini is most definitely that leafy green staple. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love rapini in all of its glory with all of my heart (especially the way my very Italian parents cook it). But when I started cooking for myself as I got older, ALL OF THE leafy greens just became waaaay more of a staple in my diet.
So my love for Bok Choy, amongst other leafy greens like Kale and Arugula, just grew and grew. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s healthy, vibrant, flavourful, versatile and SO easy to make, no matter how you cook it. You can easily season or customize it to your liking and serve it up as a tasty side dish or as an addition to all your favourite soups or noodle recipes. But hey, I’m not gonna lie, it’s so good that it’s never off limits when it comes to snack time, either.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS EASY RECIPE FOR BOK CHOY
Bok Choy is a great vegetable to experiment with as you don’t need very many ingredients for it to taste delicious. Let’s discuss the very simple ingredients you’ll need for this Easy Recipe for Bok Choy in a little bit more detail down below:
- Bok Choy: Why, of course! Bok choy is the star of the show here. It’s a type of Chinese cabbage that is low in cholesterol and carbohydrates and high in Vitamin C, B-6, potassium and folate. There are two main varieties of Bok Choy. Shanghai Bok Choy which is lighter in colour with smoother leaves and a milder taste. And Baby Bok Choy which is darker in colour with crinkly leaves and more of a mineral taste. Since you can use them interchangeably, you can use either one in this recipe. For your reference, I used Shanghai Bok Choy. You can normally find both varieties in the produce section of most grocery stores. However, if not, you’ll surely be able to easily to find them in any Asian or Chinese grocery store.
- Coconut Aminos: To keep this recipe Keto friendly, low carb and gluten free, I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Coconut aminos is slightly sweeter than soy sauce and is made by fermenting coconut palm sap with sea salt. However, feel free to use soy sauce instead if you’re not following a Keto, low carb or gluten free diet. Either way, it adds a delicious salty kick to the dish.
- Sesame Oil: Adds a nutty, Earthy flavour to the marinade but is also used for searing.
- Ginger: Popular in Asian cooking, ginger adds a flavourful almost spicy bite to the dish. Ground ginger works best in this recipe as fresh ginger will burn since it has to come into contact with the hot pan for several minutes.
- Garlic: Adds flavour and pairs perfectly well with the ginger and bok choy. Garlic powder works better than fresh minced garlic in this recipe since it has to come into contact with the hot pan for several minutes and might burn before the bok choy is cooked.
- Sriracha: Adds a spicy kick to this Easy Recipe for Bok Choy. Add more for extra spicy or omit completely for no spice at all. You can also use sambal oelek or chili flakes instead, if you prefer.
- Sesame Seeds: Adds texture and crunch to the final dish. You can use either black or white sesame seeds for this Easy Recipe for Bok Choy (I used both!)
HOW TO SEAR BOK CHOY UNTIL IT’S CARAMELIZED TO PERFECTION (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to make this healthy recipe for Bok Choy in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind for this recipe:
- Be careful when cutting the Bok Choy into halves. You want the leaves to stay intact and on the stalks. EXTRA TIP: Be sure to thoroughly wash in between the leaves of the Bok Choy as dirt tends to reeeally get all up in there.
- Marinate the Bok Choy for at least 10 minutes before cooking to allow the flavours to mingle and develop. EXTRA TIP: Use a large but shallow dish so that as many Bok Choy halves remain in the marinade as possible. They don’t have to be submerged, just touching in some way.
- Make sure the pan is hot, hot, hot before adding the Bok Choy and use a cast iron skillet, if you can swing it. EXTRA TIP: You can test the hotness of the pan by flicking a drop or two of water on it. If it sizzles, the pan is hot enough and ready to go.
- Don’t be tempted to move the Bok Choy around the pan too much once you put it in there. The only way you’re going to get that nice seared char and brown crispy edges on both sides is if you just leave it be. Other than flipping it over once throughout cooking, you shouldn’t have to move it around at all. However, If you need to handle it, use tongs.
- Baste the Bok Choy in the leftover marinade while it’s cooking in the pan for maximum flavour.
- Keep an eye on the Bok Choy as they cook to ensure they don’t burn. It’s a pretty quick process as they only need 2-3 minutes per side to sear beautifully. You want them charred and caramelized but not burnt. There is a difference and trust me, you’ll taste it!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The only part you’re going to want to trim off of the Bok Choy is the very end of each individual head. Simply discard it and carry on with the leaves and the stalks. Make sure you wash in between the leaves thoroughly (as there is normally lots of dirt hidden away inside) while being careful to keep them intact and still attached.
There are so many different and delicious ways you can eat Bok Choy and in my opinion, no one way is better than the other. I love this Easy Recipe for Bok Choy for the caramelization and crispy edges. I also love a simple sautéed Bok Choy in a bit of garlic, lemon or chilies. You can also steam, braise, bake/roast or stir fry Bok Choy. Consider adding it to things such as soups, stews, ramen, salads, stir fries or any Asian or Chinese inspired dishes.
Bok Choy is so versatile in that it goes well with pretty much any other veg or protein. Chicken, beef, pork, turkey, lamb or duck are all great alongside a plate of Bok Choy. Any shellfish such as shrimp, scallops or fish also go great. It’s even good with some crispy tofu, tempeh, lentils, beans of any kind or chickpeas.
- 8 heads Bok Choy*
- 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil, plus more for searing
- 1 tsp Sriracha or Sambal Oelek
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger
- Black and/or White Sesame Seeds, for garnish, optional
- Trim the ends off of the Bok Choy. Carefully slice each one in half, being sure to keep the leaves on each half intact and attached to the stalks. Wash in between the leaves thoroughly (as dirt tends to get stuck in there) and shake the excess water off/pat dry.
- In a large but shallow dish, combine the coconut aminos, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic powder and ginger.
- Turn each bok choy piece in the marinade and then place them in the dish, cut side down. Just pile them on top of each other if they don't all fit but try to get as many halves as possible touching the marinade. Leave them to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Test with a droplet of water - if it sizzles, it's hot enough to start. Add a dash of sesame oil to the pan then place the Bok Choy halves, cut side down in the skillet. Resist the urge to touch or move them around. Sear for 2-3 minutes as you baste once all over with the leftover marinade.
- Flip the Bok Choy over and sear an additional 2-3 minutes, basting again.
- Transfer to a dish and garnish with white and/or black sesame seeds. Serve immediately or add to all your favourite Bok Choy or Chinese inspired recipes.
You can use either Baby Bok Choy or Shanghai Bok Choy (pictured) in this recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 933mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 7g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
MORE EASY SIDE DISHES TO MAKE THIS WEEK