Basic Bok Choy

Hello again, vegetable fans!
John and I have been thinking a lot this week about basic recipes for some of our less-familiar veggies. Here’s a recipe along that theme: Basic Bok Choy.

There are doubtless a thousand ways to prepare bok choy, but it’s so wonderful this way that I haven’t found much reason to complicate it.

Meave and I had this last night, and it was GREAT! I’ve missed bok choy so much since last spring…


1 head of bok choy
1 clove of garlic or 1 garlic scape
2 Tablespoons of cooking oil*
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce

*Any oil will work here. I used extra virgin olive oil. If you’re matching your bok choy with other asian dishes, you might try sesame oil.


bok choy chopped in half1) Chop your bok choy in half, separating the leaves from the stalks.

bok choy dirty2) Roughly chop the leaves into strips. Then snap all the stalks off the central stem of the plant. Bok choy has a tendency to hold a great deal of dirt inside the tight layers of its core. Even though we washed this head, you can see it retained a lot of dirt. The good news is that, since our soil is relatively sandy, the dirt is easy to wash off in the next step.

bok choy in sink3) Fill up a large bowl or a sink with water, and throw the bok choy into its bath. Agitate the pieces of vegetable in the water by pushing them straight down into the water and letting them bob back up. If some of the dirt resists coming off the sections of stalk, you can rub it off with your thumb. Voila — all clean!

bok choy stalks4) Pull the stalks out of the water, trim off the base of each stalk, and chop them however you like. I was in the mood for big squares.

5) Mince your clove of garlic or chop your garlic scape. Put the oil in a large saute pan and heat the oil. Once your cooking oil is hot, toss in the garlic and the bok choy stalks. Let these cook for several minutes before you add the leaves.

bok choy in pan6) When the bok choy stalks just begin to brown, add the leaves and the soy sauce. Chances are, your pan will be pretty full, and it will be a bit hard to manipulate. What you want to do is slide a spatula under the cooking vegetables and flip everything over, one spatula-full at a time. The leaves don’t need to cook for long. Maybe a minute. They’re done as soon as all the leaves have wilted. It should look something like this.

Ta da! Now eat it!

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