Bok Choy: How to Use, Prep & Store

Bok choy is a soft, crunchy leafy green with a mild sweet, nutty flavor.

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You might also know it as: Bok choi, pak choi, pak choy, tat soi, spoon cabbage, white cabbage, rosette bok choy, horse’s ear, Chinese celery cabbage, white mustard cabbage

Taste: mild, sweet, nutty, mustardy

How to buy: Look for a bok choy with firm stalks that is free of brown spots.

Great in: Bok choy has a similar texture to that of baby spinach and is great in salads. So in a recipe you could swap one for another. This leafy green is infintely adaptable and stays crisp when cooked, so you can boil, stir-fry, braise, steam it, or use in soups. Mature bok choy is great in Chinese stir-fries.

How to cook: The thick stalks of bok choy have a longer cooking time than the leaves. So separate the leaves from the stalks and sauté the white bits (stalks) first; turn off the heat and add in the shredded greens; mix gently to allow the residual heat to cook the leaves.

How to store: Wrap this leafy green in paper towels and store in your refrigerators vegetable crisper compartment. Bok choy can be kept for up to a week.

Health Benefits

Like all the members of the cruciferous family, pok choi not only adds a wonderful crunch to salads but it may also help protect your DNA from mutations!

Cruciferous vegetables such are pok choi are rich in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolate, which is a precursor of isothiocyanates.1 Isothiocyanates are thought to have potential cardiovascular and anticancer.2,3,4

3 sources

  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Cruciferous vegetables, isothiocyanates and indoles. Cruciferous vegetables. France: IARC; 2004:1-12.
  2. Krinsky NI. (2002) Possible biologic mechanisms for a protective role of xanthophylls. J Nutr.; 132(3):540S-2S.
  3. Watanabe M, Ohata M, Hayakawa S, et al. ‎(2003) ‎Identification of 6-methylsulfinyhexyl isothiocyanate as an apoptosis-inducing component in wasabi. Phytochemistry.; 62(5):733-9.
  4. Xu K, Thornalley PJ. (2000) Studies on the mechanism of the inhibition of human leukaemia cell growth by dietary isothiocyanates and their cysteine adducts in vitro. Biochem Pharmacol. 15; 60(2):221-31.


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