Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy

published Jul 29, 2022
How to Cook Bok Choy

Stir-fried bok choy is a fast and flavor-packed way to get a green veggie on the dinner table.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook5 minutes

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A photo of a black bowl with cooked bok choy and chopsticks on the side.
Credit: Meleyn Nomura

Bok choy is a favorite in my house — it’s one of the easiest ways to get a green veggie on the table quickly. If you’re not familiar with the vegetable, it can feel a little intimidating to cook, but it’s fairly straightforward once you tackle it once or twice.

Bok choy can be cooked many ways, like other greens — steamed, simmered in soup, or sautéed. Here it’s stir-fried for a quick and flavorful side dish that would pair well with pan-seared chicken or oven-roasted salmon.

What is Bok Choy — and What Does it Taste Like?

Most bok choy seen in grocery stores is actually baby bok choy, picked and packed when most tender. Full-grown bok choy gets to be quite large, similar to Napa cabbage

Bok choy is a member of the cabbage family. It has a slightly bitter, mustardy flavor that softens with cooking. It also has lots of texture. The leaves are tender, with crisp, almost juicy stalks that hold up well to cooking. It plays well with lots of flavors in different dishes, but cooked simply with garlic, it shines on its own.

How Do You Prepare Bok Choy for Cooking?

Baby bok choy is very often just halved before cooking. While this makes prep quick, it can be a little unwieldy to eat — even with small bulbs. Instead, break it down into parts.

  1. Remove the larger outer leaves
  2. Trim the stalk.
  3. Cut the remaining heart in half lengthwise. 

Pulling the bok choy apart also allows for you to clean them thoroughly (it’s easy for dirt and bugs to get stuck in the layers). After washing, dry the bok choy thoroughly; a salad spinner works great for this. Making sure excess water is removed avoids steaming the bok choy, allowing for better stir-fried flavor. 

How to Cook Bok Choy

Stir-fried bok choy is a fast and flavor-packed way to get a green veggie on the dinner table.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    baby or Shanghai bok choy (about 3)

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    neutral cooking oil, such as canola

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Remove the outer leaves from 1 pound bok choy, discarding any that are wilted or discolored. Trim the end of the stalk of the center heart, then cut in half lengthwise. Wash and dry well. Mince 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil over high heat in a wok or large frying pan until shimmering. Meanwhile, measure out 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar.

  3. Add the bok choy to the pan and stir-fry until the greens are wilted and the stems are tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and sugar. Stir-fry until the garlic is fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds more.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.