Bok Choy/Pak Choi

About:

Pak choi is also known as bok choy and Chinese cabbage.  Pak choi is related to the cabbage and belongs to the same vegetable species as the turnip – which I would never have guessed.

Pak choi is a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and a good source of fibre, protein, thiamin (B1), niacin (B3) and phosphorus.

Uses:

All of pak choi is edible, I just cut off and discard the very bottom of the stems. The leaves can be eaten raw in salad or are quick to wilt by steaming, sauteing or stir frying.

The stalks hold their water well, which makes them refreshing to eat. They take a little longer than the leaves to cook, so put them in the pan first.

 In addition to its earthy flavor, we love that bok choy retains its beautiful emerald green color when cooked. You can prepare the leafy green any number of ways: toss baby bok choy with homemade vinaigrette in a salad or add whole to spiced beef soup; the larger variety is excellent in stir fries.

Recipes:

Asparagus and Bok Choy Frittata 

When making a frittata, don't limit yourself to traditional ingredients. The Asian flavors that fill this version offer a real change of pace.

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small head bok choy (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 eggs, beaten to mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Procedure:

  1. Heat the oven to 325°. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick frying pan, heat the cooking oil over moderate heat. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring, until the leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 3 minutes more.
  2. Evenly distribute the vegetables in the pan and then add the eggs, pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until the edges start to set, about 2 minutes. Put the frittata in the oven and bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Drizzle the sesame oil over the top.

Stir-Fried Shitakes with Tofu and Bok Choy

Serves 4

30 minutes or fewer

  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. Thai chile sauce, such as sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tbs. canola oil, divided
  • 1 14-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 lb. bok choy, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (can substitute types)

1. Whisk together cornstarch and 1 tsp. water in bowl. Whisk in soy sauce, ginger, chile sauce, garlic, and sesame oil.

2. Heat 1 Tbs. canola oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Stir-fry tofu 7 minutes, or until golden brown; transfer to plate. Add 1 Tbs. oil to pan. Stir-fry bok choy 4 minutes; transfer to plate.

3. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to pan. Stir-fry mushrooms 2 minutes, or until tender. Return tofu and bok choy to pan. Stir in soy sauce mixture, and stir-fry 1 minute, or until hot.