Q. Suggestions for what to do with bok choy? Do I eat the the stalk, leaf, or both?
A. Bok choy, occasionally spelled choi, is an Asian member of the cabbage family. According to About.com, “Its white stalks resemble celery without the stringiness, while the dark green, crinkly leaves of the most common variety is similar to Romaine lettuce. The Chinese commonly refer to bok choy as pak choi or ‘white vegetable.’ Another common name is white cabbage.”
You can use it like cabbage in a stir-fry with water chestnuts, snow peas, carrots, celery and onions, not to mention your choice of meats or tofu. It would go well with pork, beef, chicken or shrimp. Add some basil and chile oil for a Thai-style dish that can be served over rice or with your choice of noodles added.
Even more simple would be to sauté it in your choice of butter, olive oil, coconut oil or bacon drippings. Treat it like brussels sprouts and toss in some bacon and a touch of orange zest for added flavor.
If you didn’t want to cook it, you could use it raw in a coleslaw. Bok choy is also good cut in half lengthwise, lightly oiled and seasoned and cooked, cut side down on the grill. And, you can juice it as well.
To get you started, here’s an easy recipe from “Joy of Cooking.” It calls for baby bok choy. If yours are a little larger, the cooking time will be longer.
Baby Bok Choy with Soy Ginger Sauce
4 baby bok choy
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon slivered peeled fresh ginger
Rinse the bok choy, then cut lengthwise in half.
Steam cut side down over boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a pair of tongs to a platter.
In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, vinegar, water and ginger. Spoon the sauce over the bok choy and serve. Allow 1 to 2 whole baby bok choy per person.
Makes 2 to 4 servings.
From “Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker