About bok choyBok choy, oftentimes called Chinese cabbage, is largely associated with Chinese cooking. And while its name suggests classification as a cabbage, it bears little resemblance to the western cabbage we in America have come to know so well. The plant has dark green, crisp leaves and crunchy white stems as well as a mildly spicy flavor that hints at the relationship to mustard.
Bok choy has been around in Western culture for hundreds of years and yet it hasn’t really been widely embraced into other types of cuisine. You won't find bok choy in an Italian, Greek or Mexican dish. However in the Philippines, it is probable to have bok choy replacing cabbage in a lot of popular recipes, namely in the Pancit and the Kimchi.
Most people are not aware that there are twenty different varieties of bok choy in the Asian market, every one with a different size and flavor. While Westerners tend to value size when it comes to Chinese vegetables, in China the opposite is true. The smaller, the more tender it is.
Bok Choy Sum, also known as Chinese flowering cabbage, is easy to tell apart from the rest due to its light green leaves and tiny yellow flowers. Bok Choy Sum is usually sold with trimmed leaves and in stalks, sort of like celery hearts.
Cooking bok choyBok choy is liked due to its light sweet flavor, crisp texture and good nutritional value. It is high in Vitamin A, C and calcium while being very low in calories.
You will find bok choy is quite adaptable in the sense that it can be boiled, stir-fried and steamed. When cooking bok choy, separate the leaves from the stalk as the stalk takes longer to cook.
Bok choy and chicken stir fry
- 2 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 heads baby bok choy
- 1 large clove garlic (grated with juice)
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- Cut chicken into 1/2-inch wide strips.
- Clean and trim bok choy.
- Heat oil in large non-stick skillet or wok over medium heat until oil shimmers.
- Add strips of chicken and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and continue stir-frying for another 5 minutes or until bok choy begins to wilt.
- Serve immediately with rice.