Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Vegetables
Bok choy, also called bok choi, baicai (Mandarin, 白菜, báicài, literally white vegetable), pak choi, pak choy, or Chinese leaves, is a green leafy vegetable used in Chinese and South-east Asian cooking.
Bok choy originates from China, but it is also grown now in California and parts of Canada. It takes about two months from planting to harvesting in mild weather.
Bok choy is closely related to cabbage, and they share some characteristics. Bok choy has a firm white stem, dark green leaves, and a faintly bitter taste. Since its leaves have a spoon-shape, it may be called “soup spoon”. Unlike a western cabbage, the heads are very loose and fan outward instead of closing in on themselves. Bok choy is also related to choy sum, yu choy, and Chinese cabbage.
There are a number of different bok choy varieties, which vary in color, taste, and size. Tah tsai and joi choi are two varieties. Baby bok choy refers to small, tender heads of bok choy.
Bok choy contains vitamins A and C. One cup of cooked bok choy offers over 100% of the recommend dietary allowance of vitamin A, and close to two-thirds the RDA of vitamin C.
Bok choy can be kept in the refrigerator for up to six days without washing. So, only wash it as needed.
Both the stems and leaves can be used, but the stems take a little longer to cook. It has a mild flavor that permits it to be eaten raw in a salad if the leaves are very small. It can also be steamed, stir-fried, deep-fried, braised, boiled, and included in soups.
When substitution is required, a mixture of celery and spinach will often work well.