What is Bok Choy and what can I do with it?
Did you know that Bok choy has over 70 antioxidants, 21 nutrients and provides lutein and omega 3s and so much more?
Some of you are aware of and have eaten Bok choy or sometimes called Pak choy or baby choy. But did you know that these cruciferous vegetables are a member of the cabbage family? And that they really pack a punch when it comes to your nutrition and health? These nutrients and phytonutrients kick up your energy and fights off toxins. These little veggies are ranked one of the highest nutritional vegetables due to the amount of 21 nutrients and this includes omega-3s and zinc, which is a mineral that has antioxidant properties. This Bok choy has not only antioxidant benefits, but also anti-inflammatory benefits, and is low on the Glycemic Index (GI).
Bok choy’s antioxidants help to fight off free radicals in our bodies and there are studies regarding antioxidants and caner prevention. Everyone knows that it is said that broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbages and other vegetables promote healthy bodies and good in nutrition. There are studies that bok choy provides lutein and over 70 antioxidant phenolic substances as well as being one of the higher vitamin A vegetables. Pretty good punch for a little veggie!
You can find bok choy at any Asian store or sometimes at the local grocery store, you could always ask the manager. Bok choy is easy to spot, it has a bulb at the bottom with stem type stalk with rounded leaves. Kind of looks similar to the Fennel bulb, without the skinny stalk top part being fuzzy leafed.
Bok choy stalk should be firm, the stem/stalk could be white or even a greenish or yellow color. However, if they have green leaves, make sure to get the greenest leaves, if they are starting to get older, the leaves may start to get yellow spots and wilt. Bok choy is readily available and prevalent in winter through spring; however, now a days with shipments to and from all over the country you can get them most times of the year. The price may vary of course due to supply. Upon obtaining your bok choy, store in a plastic baggie with all the air expelled and tied up. It should be good for about a week.
Bok choy, is a joy! It only take a few minutes to cook and so good for you. This vegetable is so versatile, you can serve it as a main dish is you are vegetarian or vegan or utilize it as a side dish with a multitude of variations or versions to keep up the romance with this vegetable.
It is quick and easy to cook, several ways to cook it, and so many ways to serve it, what more can you ask for in a magnificent little bulb from the cabbage family? You can leave it whole or chop it, dice it slice it. Then fry it, steam it, or boil it. Serve it with mushrooms, onions, or any combination of other vegetables. Just remember that some vegetable have a strong flavor and if you really want the bok choy to come out, you might consider what vegetable you pair it with.
Bok choy can be served with various flavoring such as: garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, shoyu sauce, fish sauce, Hoisin sauce, Oyster sauce, vinegar, with or without a bit of sugar, miso and so much more.
Just for note, the larger the chunk of garlic the milder flavor to the bok choy, the smaller the garlic mince or grated it is stronger and has more surface to flavor and incorporate into the dish.
Since I love this little munchkin, I quickly saute it with some garlic and sometimes ginger, shoyu sauce and Hoisin or Oyster sauce…that’s it. A quick toss in the wok or large pan and ready to eat! Only takes about 3 to 5 minutes to cook, before that 5 minutes to wash and prep/cut…so less than 10 minutes! My rice takes longer to cook! Speaking of rice, bok choy can be served as a side dish with meat, seafood or any other vegetable and can be incorporated with noodles as well soup.
If you leave garlic or the ginger in larger slices or chunks, remember to put them into the wok first, so that they can cook before putting in your bok choy. However, if you minced or grated, add them during the bok choy cooking process.
Here are some other greens and names you might see at the Asian store:
- Yu choy similar to bok choy and at times come with attached yellow flowers that are edible
- Gai choy also known as Chinese mustard greens – Recommended that these are blanched to take away the bitterness prior to cooking – the dark yellowish green leaves are curled, has a spicy bite, but the red leaves type have a Wasabi flavor, whoa, nice
- Shanghai bok choy has light green leaves and somewhat a pale yellow-greenish stalk, This is basically used in the same way as baby bok choy, just a little different version of the bok choy, still mm good.
It’s a vegetable waiting to please you in so many ways; try it today and get healthier, feel better and get more energy!