12 Crazy Good Ways To Cook Bok Choy

Go beyond the stir-fry and use this tasty nutritional powerhouse in salads, smoothies, and even quick pickles.

March 31, 2017
12 easy bok choy recipes.
Tom Baker / EyeEm/Getty

With its bright green fleshy leaves and crunchy white stems, bok choy is a versatile Chinese vegetable in cooking. Some types of bok choy are about the size of napa cabbage, with crispy ribs that can be white or light green, and vibrant dark green leaves, others are solid light green, reddish-green, and even golden-yellow. Smaller types, labeled “baby bok choy”, are cultivars that mature fast at just a few inches tall and are perfect for cooking whole. Both types can be used in bok choy recipes. You can find bok choy at supermarkets and Asian grocery stores—and, of course, bok choy is an easy vegetable to grow yourself. Here's how to grow bok choy in your garden.

(Whether you're starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)

In addition to being delicious, bok choy is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Bok choy contains bone-building calcium as well as vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron, and potassium, the last of which helps keep your muscles and nerves working properly, and also helps to control blood pressure. Bok choy also contains antioxidant plant compounds known as carotenoids, which prevent damage from free radicals (the waste products our bodies produce when cells use fuel to create energy). While all plant-based antioxidants benefit your brain, cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy are especially effective: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s National Institute on Aging notes that cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy and brocolli are associated with a reduced rate of cognitive decline when it comes to conditions like Alzheimer's disease. 

Both the larger and baby types of bok choy can be used in these bok choy recipes, though in some cases you will want to chop the larger type into small pieces, where you can cook baby bok choy whole.

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A recipe for raw bok choy with dips for a vegetable platter.
Photograph courtesy of Withlovekacie.com
Bok Choy Vegetable Platter With Dips

Baby bok choy is the perfect size to add to a raw vegetable platter. Chop off just enough of the base of the bok choy plant so that you can clean the stalks and leaves individually under cool running water, then pair them with your favorite dip—or try these recipes for harissa aioli and caper-buttermilk dip with bok choy for dipping.  

Try bok choy raw in a bok choy salad recipe
Photograph courtesy of TheCozyApron.com
Bok Choy Salad

Coarsely chopped raw bok choy imparts a celery-like juicy crunch to salads—try it with a home-made dressing of garlic, honey, soy sauce, and vinegar for an easy way to get more calcium into your diet: bok choy is one of the 20 highest calcium vegetarian foods. Try this bok choy salad recipe from The Cozy Apron.

Related: 9 Salad Greens You Should Be Growing

A recipe for bok choy slaw.
Photograph courtesy of MarcusSamuelsson.com
Bok Choy Slaw

Or slice that bok choy even thinner to make a slaw. Use it in place of cabbage in your favorite slaw recipe, or try this bok choy slaw recipe with cubed mango and chili-garlic sauce from chef Marcus Samuelsson.

A recipe for braised bok choy with sausage, sauerkraut, and apples.
Photograph courtesy of Epicurious.com
Braised Bok Choy

Just like its cousin cabbage, bok choy's sturdy leaves take well to braising, where they develop a deep, sweet flavor. We love this recipe from Epicurious.com, in which bok choy is braised with apples and sausage. 

Grilled bok choy recipe, drizzled with miso sesame sauce.
Grilled Bok Choy

Grilling turns bok choy stems tender and smoky while crisping the leaves. To make grilled bok choy, slice bok choy in half lengthwise (you can leave baby bok choy whole), toss it in olive oil, and grill, turning once, until lightly charred on both sides, about 6 minutes per side, then drizzle them with this insanely addictive miso dressing.

Related: 17 Ways To Grill Greener 

Bok choy breakfast hash recipe
Photograph courtesy of SeriousEats.com
Bok Choy Breakfast Hash

If you have trouble hitting the recommended number of daily servings of veggies, eating them for breakfast is one way to up your intake. This easy-to-make breakfast bok choy and potato hash has a kick of heat from chili sauce, and is topped with an egg for a big dose of protein. And it takes just 15 minutes to make. Get the recipe from Serious Eats. 

Related: I Ate At Least One Vegetable With Breakfast Every Day And Here’s What Happened

A recipe for bok choy and ginger soup  with noodles
Photograph courtesy of naturallyella.com
Bok Choy and Ginger Noodle Soup

Naturally Ella makes this  soup recipe with an irresistible ginger broth that’s full of healing powers, making it just the thing if you’ve got a winter cold. And it’s so simple that it’ll soon be a go-to recipe in your household.

Related: 7 Surprising Benefits Of Eating More Ginger (Goodbye, Migraine!)

Bok choy kimchi and bok choy quick pickle recipes.
Pickled Bok Choy

The classic bok choy pickle is kimchi (here’s how to make kimchi at home—to use bok choy, just substitute it for the napa cabbage). But bok choy can also be for a quicker pickle, try this quick pickle recipe, which works for bok choy, cucumbers, beans—pretty much anything your heart desires.

This sheet pan roasted bok choy is very easy to make.
Photograph courtesy of Epicurious.com
Sheet Pan Roasted Bok Choy

One of the easiest ways to cook bok choy is by roasting it on a sheet pan in the oven, where the high, dry heat causes bok choy to caramelize. Slice bok choy in half lengthwise, then toss it in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with kosher salt. Place it cut-side down on a sheet pan and roast it at 450F. Baby bok choy will be ready in 10 minutes; larger heads will take a few minutes more. Get the recipe from Epicurious.com.

Realted: The Best Way To Roast Root Vegetables

Stir fried bok choy is an easy recipe that cooks in a few minutes.
Photograph courtesy of TheKitchn.com
Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Stir-frying is a quick, easy, and delicious way to prepare any green vegetable, and bok choy is no exception. (If you haven’t stir-fried before, check out this great tutorial on stir-frying from the Kitchn with stir-fry master Grace Young, which walks through all of the basics.) Stir-fried bok choy can be simply seasoned with diced garlic, oil, and salt, but you can also experiment with added seasonings to finish the dish: a little oyster sauce, soy sauce and freshly grated ginger, chili paste, a splash of cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon—even orange juice

Tired of kale chip recipes? Try this recipe for bok choy chips.
Photograph courtesy of EatingRules.com
Bok Choy Chips

Like kale chips? Try bok choy chips! They’re even better for you than kale chips, and they take exactly 20 minutes to make. Get the recipe from Eating Rules. 

Bok choy is one of the best vegetables for smoothies.
Birgit Finta / EyeEm/Getty
Bok Choy Smoothie

As one of the 14 vegetarian foods that have more iron than meat bok choy is one of the best greens for smoothies. Try pairing it with papaya, pears, strawberries, and citrus.