Bok choy, or Chinese cabbage
, is a vegetable that has been cultivated for thousands of years in China, and it shows up with regularity in Chinese and Asian cuisines. It's also showing up in many CSA boxes! If you get a head of bok choy, check to make sure its leaves are dark green and that the stalk is bright white. Discard any yellowing or wilted leaves.
Cut off the bottom of the cluster and wash the stalks individually - a lot of sand and grit tend to accumulate at their base. The stalks have a wonderfully crisp texture, and they keep this in a stir fry dish - crunching with watery juiciness. The leaves are slightly bitter, but not overly so, and when added in at the end of cooking, after the stalks are tender, they give a good depth of flavor. Bok choy is classically used in stir fry - see Barbara's recipe for Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce, Ginger and Fermented Black Beans for a great example and a good recipe. We also like this Bok Choy with Fried Shallots. This Bok Choy Gratin is a more Western use of the vegetable, and it looks very good.
How do you cook with bok choy?
(Image credit: Wegmans)