Last modified on 6 January 2012, at 21:56

Cookbook:Bok Choy

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Basic foodstuffs | Vegetable | Brassicas

Bok Choy.
Pak Choi (Chinese Celery).

Bok choy (Cantonese) (also: bok choi, baicai (Mandarin, 白菜, báicài, literally white vegetable), pak choi and pak choy and sometimes ambiguously known as Chinese leaves and has been planted in China for more than 5,000 years.) its origin is from China, but it is also grown now in California and parts of Canada. It takes about two months from planting to harvesting Bok choy in milder weather.

Bok choy is a green leafy vegetable used in Chinese and South-east Asian cooking. It has a firm white stem, dark green leaves, and a faintly bitter taste. Since the shape of bok choy’s leaves is like spoon, it is also called “soup spoon”. There are a number of different related varieties, some of which have green stems and lighter-green leaves, which looks like white cabbage, and is also different from Napa cabbage. The bok choy varies in color, taste, and size such as tah tsai and joi choi. Even though bok choy is similar to celery, it is actually a member of the cabbage family (brassica chinensis, or brassica campestris, Chinensis group).

Unlike a western cabbage, the heads are very loose and fan outward instead of close in on themselves. Both the stems and leaves can be used, but the stems take a little longer to cook (though still very little time). Bok choy is used after washing it carefully with the separation of the leaves and the stalks to make sure they are completely clean. It has a mild flavor that permits it to be eaten raw in a salad if the leaves are very small (Baby bok choy), steamed, stir-fried or even deep-fryed, braising, boiled and in soups.

Bok choy can be fresh in the refrigerator for up to six days without washing. So, only wash it as needed. The veggie is fulled with vitamins A and C. One cup of cooked it offers more than 100% of the recommend dietary allowance of A, and close to two-thirds the RDA of C.

When substitution is required, a mixture of celery and spinach will often work well.

Bok choy is related to:

  • choy sum - 1"-wide stalks with some vertical spacing, less bitter, less likely to be damaged due to smaller size
  • yu choy - 0.4"-diameter branching stems, rarely sold, may include flowers
  • Chinese cabbage - tight head (Pekinensis group), very common

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