Tips & Info

Improve Your Produce IQ: Bok Choy

From Sound Dietitians, a partner of the Verdant Health Commission. View the complete blog post and recipes from Sound Dietitians at www.sounddietitians.com/blog/bok-choy-a-vegetable-with-many-names.

 

Have you ever tried bok choy, an oddly-shaped green and white vegetable? It also goes by the names bok choi, pak choy, or pok choi, and by white cabbage, mustard cabbage, celery cabbage, Chinese white cabbage, Chinese mustard, and white celery mustard (1).

Bok choy is from the same cruciferous vegetable family as some of the other vegetables I’ve written about in previous blog posts: Turnip, rutabaga, kohlrabi, collards, and Brussels sprouts. You will usually find two different types of bok choy in the produce section – baby bok choy and bok choy (it’s larger, but is not specified as larger). The larger-sized bok choy has longer white stalks and wavy, hardy green leaves, while baby bok choy has shorter white/light green stalks and tender leaves.

Bok Choy

What does bok choy taste like?

Like some of the other vegetables I’ve written about, such as kohlrabi, bok choy does not taste or smell like cabbage when eaten or cooked. The leaves (especially of baby bok choy) are more delicate like lettuce, and the stalks are crispy like celery and have a light, peppery taste (2).

How do you prepare bok choy?

Bok choy can be eaten raw or cooked. When eaten raw, you can enjoy the stalks as you would any other raw vegetable, with dips, chopped in colesaw, or like you would an apple with nut butter or hummus. The greens would be great in a salad or used as a wrap instead of bread/tortilla.

When eaten cooked, it’s preferable to separate the white section from the green, leafy section before cooking because they cook at different rates since they are different in texture. Cook the white parts longer and add the greens in at the last minute to just wilt them (see recipe linked below). All parts are delicious in stir-fry, soup, or simply alone with some garlic, salt and oil. Click here for a great bok choy tip and simple recipe!

 

References:
1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=152
2. https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/enjoy-bok-choy (you can find many recipe options here, too!)

 

View the rest of the blog post from Nancy Miller, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Sound Dietitians, for nutrition information and a recipe for Colorful Bok Choy Vegetable Mix on the Sound Dietitians blog: www.sounddietitians.com/blog/bok-choy-a-vegetable-with-many-names.