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Enjoy Bok Choy

When it comes to food, I’ll eat anything green (except mold!).

Lucky to come from a family of southern cooks and green-leaf-lovers, I was certain I knew everything I needed to know about eating green things until my family moved to Hawaii.

There, I was introduced to a new (to me) leafy green called bok choy. Also referred to as Chinese cabbage, bok choy, like other cruciferous vegetables, is a nutrient-dense, delicious, easy-to-prepare vegetable known for containing special compounds that support good health.

Although technically classified as a member of the cabbage family, it neither resembles nor tastes like any of the cabbages we are familiar with. The stalks resemble white celery and the leaves look more like broccoli leaves or dark Romaine lettuce.

In China, bok choy is known as “pak choi,”,which means “white vegetable” (despite those lovely green leaves!).

Here at home, you’ll mostly find either common bok choy, characterized by its large white stalks and crinkly green leaves, or baby bok choy, a tiny resemblance of the larger version with small, light green stalks and tender baby leaves.

Both varieties are worth a try and can be a delicious addition to many a meal, whether Asian, Mediterranean, European, American or otherwise.

When purchasing bok choy, look for firm, smooth white stalks and dark, crisp greens. For baby bok choy, look for light green stalks with firm leaves and no yellow or brown marks. Store in a plastic bag and use within four to five days. Remember, you can eat bok choy stalks raw with dip or chopped fresh for salads.

Otherwise, depending on your recipe, you’ll want to cook it quickly so the stalks stay crisp and the leaves get tender. For stir-frying, add stalks first and green leaves a minute or two later, towards the end of cooking. If you haven’t tried it yet, let bok choy make a wonderful, healthy and simple-to-cook addition to your menus this season.

Here are some delicious favorites:

Have you tried bok choy? Got a favorite recipe? Let me know.

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Susan says …

I use bok choy, which ever kind I can find in my Morning Green Shake 12 oz filtered water 1 teaspoon Powdered greens 2 tablespoons hemp seeds cucumber 1/3 of an avocado clover sprouts bok choy dino kale or collards greens Put all in the blender and blend until totally liquid. It's a great way to start the day with an alkalizing, filling drink. I'm writing a cookbook for cancer survivors, and others, which will be gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.

muriel reiffe says …

I wish that so many of your foods did not come from China. Please reply.

says …

@Muriel Currently, the only item we source from China are the 365 Frozen Edamame.

Miss Diana says …

I love bok choy! I've mostly enjoyed it in Chinese restaurant dishes, but never tnink to make it myself at home. Now that I've visited this site, I'm sure I'll find a recipe to get me going on bok choy at home. Thanks!

Nancy Ward says …

DEEP FRIED BOK CHOY! For those who hate vegetables - Ingredients: 1/2 pound bok choy 1/4 cup toasted almonds 2 cups oil for deep-frying, or as needed 1 teaspoon granulated sugar Preparation: Wash the bok choy and drain thoroughly. Finely chop the toasted almonds. When the bok choy has dried, separate the stalks and leaves. Roll the leaves up cigar-style, and then cut into thin shreds. Heat the oil in a wok to between 300 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a batch of the shredded bok choy. Submerge the bok choy shreds in the hot oil for a few seconds only and remove quickly. (If you have one, a mesh deep-frying basket is ideal for this). Do not let the leaves turn brown. Drain on paper towels. Continue with the remainder of the bok choy shreds. Place the shreds in a bowl and toss with the sugar and chopped almonds. Serve immediately.

Mary says …

We love bok choy here-I make stir fry every week and bok choy is usually one of the veggies that I add along with onion, garlic, mushrooms, red, yellow, and orange peppers. I add mock duck or tofu and my husband gets a separate stir fry of chicken. Thai chili sauce is a good addition at the end along with crushed red pepper and basil. I serve it over jasmine rice or rice noodles. Sriracha sauce tops it off with more heat!

Sidney DuBois says …

You forgot to mention the BEST bok choy recipe -- Kim Chi -- obviously not a quick recipe, but it's great with almost anything

Derek says …

I just harvested my first crop of bok choy from my garden and it was awesome! The first batch I sauteed with peppers and onions as a nice side dish and then the second batch I actually used to add some nice "greenery" to my tomato sauce for a pasta dish. Both were excellent! It's a great plant to grow in the spring and fall. Comes up quickly and you don't have to harvest it all at once.

Stacey@happybudgetgirl says …

I love bok choy. I often use it as a subbstitute in recipes that call for kale or collard greens. Funny thing is, I used some last night in my chicken soup. It was so delicious that there wasn't anything left in the pot in the end. I'm heading out to the farmer's market today to find more bok choy. Maybe I'll try one of the recipes above. Here are the pics for last night's chicken soup with bok choy: http://www.thehappybudgetgirl.com/easy-chicken-soup.html