What to do with Bok Choy

girlsingardens(zone 5 NE)June 22, 2007

Well I did get out of the house for a little social time today. One of the older guys in town always has a great garden and also starts lots of tomatoes and peppers to sell for pocket money. He gave me a call this morning and told me that he had lots of Bok Choy and wondered if I wanted some. I gave him a jar of my dill pickles in return for the Bok Choy. He gave me 8 good sized heads and now I am trying to figure out what to do with it. I plan on eating some raw, having stir fry for supper tonight but what else can I make?? Also I was wondering about freezing some for future use. Any ideas would be great. (Now to clean out the freezer to make room for this years harvest.


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jimster(z7a MA)

That's a lot of bok choy. Your first two ideas are good basic uses. Bok choy can also be used to make kimchee. Bok choy is a good addition to a clear soup such as won ton soup, although that is basically a garnish and won't use much. Another idea is to use it in a dumpling filling, finely chopped with ground pork and some aromatics. Lion's head meatballs can use a good amount of bok choy. I would think those could be frozen for later use.

I will soon be facing your question as my bok choy is growing fast. I recommend searching some recipe sites or cooking blogs. If you do a Google search, you will hit a lot of these.


Here is a link that might be useful: Lion's Head Meat Balls

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 8:18PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I love bok choy and have all kinds of recipes. About the only thing I don't use it in is dessert! Here are some, mainly Asian, but not all.

Braised Baby Bok Choy
Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine

2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy, trimmed
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Pepper, to taste
Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large heavy skillet. Arrange bok choy evenly in skillet and simmer, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy with tongs to a serving dish and keep warm, covered. Boil broth mixture until reduced to about 1/2 cup, then stir in sesame oil and pepper to taste. Pour mixture over bok choy.

Stir-fried baby bok choy

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Note: From Vicki Fan. Baby bok choy is available at many local farmers markets and Asian markets. Use the smallest baby bok choy you can find, about 2 1/2 inches long if possible. If larger, cut them in half lengthwise. Keep a saucepan of simmering water or chicken or vegetable stock on the stove, to add to the bok choy while cooking.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
12 baby bok choy, whole (trimmed)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and swirl the wok around to coat the pan. Heat until you see a wisp of smoke. Add the garlic and ginger and quickly stir fry for just a few seconds, stirring with chopsticks.

2. Add the bok choy and stir to coat. Add 2 tablespoons hot water and cover. Let the bok choy steam about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a few times and checking to make sure the vegetables don't burn. Add a little more water if necessary and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Bok Choy with Sauteed Mushrooms and Shallots

If you've never tried bok choy, this recipe is a good place to start.
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds bok choy, rinsed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons "lite" soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir-fry until mushrooms darken, about 5 minutes.
Add bok choy and stir-fry for about 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Sprinkle with soy sauce, lemon zest and pepper, to taste. Serves 4.
Adapted from "The New American Plate: Veggies," by the American Institute for Cancer Research

Roasted Roots With Winter Greens
Makes 8 servings
This recipe, which makes good use of winter vegetables, comes from Shari Sirkin of Dancing Roots Farm in Troutdale. She encourages cooks to vary the ingredients -- it can be made with all of the vegetables in the recipe or just one or two. She makes a big batch on the weekends, providing lots of healthy leftovers for the week.

2 pounds potatoes, cut into large pieces
6 medium carrots, cut into large pieces
4 medium parsnips, cut into large pieces
4 medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into large pieces
4 medium turnips, cut into large pieces
Olive oil
3 large beets, cut into large pieces
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, summer savory or thyme, or a mixture
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups thickly sliced greens, such as collards, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, spinach or arugula
11/2 to 2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and turnips in 1 or 2 large roasting pans; toss them with olive oil to coat lightly. In a separate pan, toss the beets with a little olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and your choice of herbs to all the vegetables. Roast for about 1 hour or until the roots are tender.

When the roots are almost done, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it is soft. Add the greens and 1/4 cup water; cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are just tender and still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, place a large scoop of roasted roots on an individual plate; top with a large helping of greens and 3 to 4 tablespoons crumbled feta. -- Adapted from "Recipes From America's Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season's Bounty" by Joanne Lamb Hayes and Lori Stein

Grilled Pork and Mango Salad with Warm Asian Greens
From "Sensational Salads" by Barbara Scott-Goodman.

cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil
2 pounds center-cut boneless pork cutlets or chops, about ½ -inch thick
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and thickly sliced
2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil
1 head bok choy, trimmed and coarsely chopped
½ pound baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Dash of hot sauce
4 scallions, trimmed and minced, for garnish

In a food processor, combine the mint, cilantro, basil, garlic, pepper, sugar, lime juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil and pulse until well combined. The marinade can be made up to 1 day ahead of time.

Put the pork in a shallow nonreactive pan. Pour the marinade over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. When it's medium-hot (coals are covered with a light coating of ash and glow deep red), grill the pork, 4 to 5 minutes per side, for medium-rare, or until desired doneness. At the same time, grill the mango slices until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Let the pork and mango cool for a few minutes. Cut the pork into ¼ -inch slices and dice the mango; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the bok choy and stir-fry over medium-high heat until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and stir-fry until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the greens to a large platter or individual plates. Top the greens with the pork slices and diced mango.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, sesame oil, and hot sauce. Drizzle over the pork and mango. Garnish with scallions and serve at once.
Serves 6.

Vietnamese-Style Beef and Noodle Broth
Makes 6 servings

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound beef flank steak, very thinly sliced against the grain
4 cups chopped bok choy (about 1 pound)
1 2- to 3-inch piece unpeeled fresh ginger, sliced
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
8 ounces wide rice noodles
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
11/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 tablespoons chopped basil, or to taste
4 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large soup pot over high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring often, until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate using tongs, leaving the juices in the pot.

Add bok choy to the pot and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add ginger and broths; cover and bring to a boil. Add noodles and soy sauce; simmer until the noodles are soft, about 4 minutes. Return the beef to the pot and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with bean sprouts, basil, green onions and cilantro. Top with lime wedges.
-- Adapted from Eating Well April/May 2005

from Cook's Illustrated
serves 4 time: 25 minutes

½ C maple syrup
¼ C soy sauce
1 Tabsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tabsp plus 1 tsp veg. oil
1 large head bok choy (about 2 lbs) root end removed, cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces
4 center-cut salmon fillets (each about 6 ounces and 1¼ inches thick) remove pin bones and pat dry
2 tsp sesame seeds

Adjust one oven rack to the lowest position and a second rack to the upper middle position. Heat oven to 500°
Bring the maple syrup and soy sauce to a simmer in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to ½ cup, 8-9 min.

Meanwhile, combine the grated ginger and 1 tabsp oil in a large bowl. Add the bok choy, ¼ tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Spread the bok choy on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Grease a second rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 1 tsp oil and position the salmon fillets, skin side down, on the sheet, with at least 1 inch between them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the bok choy on the lower oven rack and the salmon on the upper oven rack. Cook for 5 min, then pull the salmon from the oven and spread a thick layer of the maple glaze over each fillet, top and sides. Use a pastry brush. Return to the oven. Continue to cook until the bok choy leaves are wilted, stems tender and the salmon is firm to the touch, about 3 min. longer.

Transfer bok choy to a platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Brush the fillets with another layer of glaze and transfer to individual plates. Serve immediately, with any remaining glaze.

I have more if there's something in particular you'd like to try. The idea of a search is also a very good one, especially sites like epicurious, which provide cooks' ratings for many recipes.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 11:27PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Carol, what a treasure trove! I love Bok Choy too, and will be happy to try some of these.

Stacie, I usually cook it much the way Carol's first recipe above suggests, though without bothering to make a separate sauce. I stir-fry garlic, add Bok Choy & more liquid (stock or water), braise for a few minutes, add a squirt of rice vinegar and a wee drizzle of sesame oil. Maybe some toasted sesame seeds if I have 'em. Serve with soy sauce, added to taste.

One day at a Chinese Restaurant, after having several tasty but complicatedly flavoured and fairly greasy dishes in a row, I tasted some baby Bok Choy done in a simple way and I was just in HEAVEN. I had never given it much thought before then, but I eat it regularly ever since and sometimes have it in my garden.

"Grown-up" bok choy works well in these "baby" recipes too, btw; you will have to chop it and maybe cook it a bit longer. It isn't quite as tender, but the flavour is still lovely.



    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 3:58PM
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Bok Choy and Vegetable Salad
Steam bok choy until wilted. Cool and mix with broccoli, asparagus, baby corn, thinly sliced red capsicum, thinly sliced water chestnuts and shallots. Season French dressing with sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic. Drizzle over salad with roasted cashews.

Bok Choy Kimchee
500g bok choy
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small slices fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 green onions, cut into 5cm lengths
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar

Cut enough bok choy to make 3 cups into 2cm lengths, using mostly the stalks. Combine garlic with ginger, chilli flakes, shallot, soy sauce, and vinegar. Add the bok choy and mix well with your hands. Add salt and sugar, mixing again until well combined. Let stand for 1-2 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bok Choy Quiche
Pan-fry one bunch of chopped bok choy leaves and one diced onion until soft. Drain and spread in prepared pastry case. Sprinkle with tasty cheese. Mix 2 beaten eggs, 2/3 cups cream and 1/3 cup milk and pour over bok choy. Bake in moderate oven for 35 minutes or until filling is set.

Bok Choy Stirfry
Stir-fry 1 clove minced garlic with 3 cups of chopped vegetables (carrot, celery, capsicum, zucchini, snow peas, beans) in 2 tablespoons peanut oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Add 1 bunch chopped bok choy and cook until just wilted. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce. Serve hot sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. Pan-fry beef, chicken or fish for added variety.

Bok Choy with Apples
75 0g bok choy
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/4 cup onions, cut in slivers
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tart green apple, cut in cubes
2-3 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut leaves off the bok choy stems. Slice stems on the diagonal. Cut greens into ribbons. Set aside. Heat oil in a large frypan or wok over medium heat. Add onions and stirfry for 1-2 minutes. Add ginger then bok choy stems and apples. Stir in as much stock or water as needed to prevent scorching. Stirfry for approximately 5 minutes. Add bok choy greens, sprinkle with salt, and stir fry until just wilted. Serve immediately.

Bok Choy with Bacon Sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chilli sauce
6 rashers bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cups chopped bok choy

Combine all but cooking oil and bok choy in a saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. Heat oil in a wok or frypan. Add bok choy and stirfry until crisp tender. Place hot sauce over it when ready to serve.

Bok Choy with Cashew Sauce
1/2 cup cashews, roasted
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
750g bok choy
1/3 cup peanut oil

Puree the cashews, vinegar, water, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, tabasco, basil and mint in a blender. Separate bok choy leaves from stalks, and cut stalks into 2cm long pieces. Saute bok choy in a large pan over high heat (oil should not be smoking). Stir briskly for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and well seared. Remove from heat and drape with cashew sauce. Serve immediately.

Bok Choy with Rosemary and Garlic
6 baby bok choys, cut into 2cm pieces
2 sprigs rosemary,10cm long
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 tablespoons cooking oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in pan until hot, add rosemary and half of the garlic, saute until you can smell the aroma of the rosemary. Add the bok choys and salt, continue to cook until baby bok choys begin to sweat, about 2-3 minutes. Add remaining garlic, toss and serve.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 6:05PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Zabby makes some good points. While bok choy can be used in many ways, from a very simple stir fry to an ingredient in complicated dishes, it is very good cooked by itself in the simplest way. This is true of other Chinese greens also, such as yu choy and gai lan. All are nice accompaniments to richer flavored meat dishes.

My own simple stir fry is like Zabby's but done in reverse order to hers. Instead of braising at the end, I parboil briefly (30 sec.) at the beginning in a pot of boiling water. Then I stir fry in oil with a bit of ginger root and season with a small amount of salt and sugar during cooking and a bit of sesame oil at the end. The crucial part is to avoid overcooking, which makes the bok choy mushy. Total cooking time should be about 3 min. and the bok choy should be glossy, transluscent and crunchy.

Bok choy comes in many sizes from entire plants not much more than two inches across to the big ones weighing a pound or two. Recently I served some medium sized baby bok choy which were right for two people each. I split them in half vertically and cooked the halves in a manner similar to the above. They were served as a separate course, cut side down on small plates, garnished with something I can't remember, maybe some cut up radish. It was pretty and was appreciated.

A chinese restaurant I like very much places the tiny bok choy all around the edge of a plate of some of their preparations. They are small enough to eat with chop sticks without needing to be cut up.

If you haven't grown bok choy, try it. It's easy. Seed racks at local stores usually have at least one variety. You can find many more at the link below.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 9:13PM
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