Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy is a simple vegetable side dish that is ready in under 10 minutes start to finish. It’s a little garlicky with a great tender-crisp texture and one of my go-to veggie options when I’m making a more protein-centric main dish and want a great vegetable to serve.
This easy baby bok choy recipe might be a little out of the norm if you haven’t ever made bok choy at home before, but it’s one that I’m positive your family is going to love! I like to add it to any weeknight stir-fry, but it’s great as a stand-alone side dish. It goes especially well with proteins like garam masala salmon steaks or grilled whole fish.
Last year the most popular recipe on House of Nash Eats was a super simple, easy vegetable side dish recipe for oven roasted asparagus with garlic, Parmesan, and lemon. It’s one I almost didn’t even publish but I’m so glad I did because so many of you loved it!
This baby bok choy is another simple, easy recipe that takes hardly any work at all and I love it because it gives us variety in the vegetables that we are eating. I think we are all guilty every now and then of getting stuck in a rut of serving the same basic vegetables over and over. But it’s always a good idea incorporate something new and different, both for the health benefits and to keep things fun and interesting!
And while I know that some people worry about how their kids will react to new foods, I have found that with my girls at least, the more I put new and different things in front of them the less picky they tend to be. It’s only when I start repeating the same three vegetables over and over and over that I get push back from my youngest on nights when I introduce something different, like this stir-fried baby bok choy.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, we love our green beans, broccoli, and brussels sprouts around here, but just because those are our favorites doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change things up on a regular basis!
What Is Baby Bok Choy?
If you aren’t too familiar with it, baby bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that ranges in length from 3 to 5 inches. It’s harvested young, and has dark green leaves connected to white stalks. These ones just happen to be on the large side of baby bok choy, so I had to cut them down a little more than usual, but smaller ones can be cooked whole without any chopping at all. I’ve seen them in packs at Costco on occasion, but I can almost always find it at the grocery store.
It also happens to be a winter vegetable, so they are in season right now, although you can get them pretty much year round, like most cabbage.
One cup of baby bok choy has just 9 calories and is loaded with protein, dietary fiber and vitamins and minerals that are great for you! And if you can only find regular bok choy, instead of the baby variety, you can use that too in this recipe. You will just need to chop it down into roughly bite-size chunks.
How to Eat Baby Bok Choy
You can actually eat bok choy stalks raw with dip or chopped up and thrown in salads, much like celery, if you wanted to. But when cooking bok choy, you want to do it quickly so the stalks stay a little crisp and the leaves get tender and start to wilt.
I keep it really simple with this recipe, stir-frying the baby bok choy with just a little bit of oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, and some soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning. You could add some fresh minced ginger as well, if you wanted to. The amount of time to stir-fry really depends on how wilted and tender you want the leaves and stalks to get.
Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy is a simple vegetable side dish that is ready in under 10 minutes start to finish. It's a little garlicky with a great tender-crisp texture and one of my go-to veggie options when I'm making a more protein-centric main dish and want a great vegetable to serve.
- 1 pound baby bok choy (about 8 cups)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Trim the bottoms of the baby bok choy and rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove any grit that likes to collect down at the base of each bundle. Cut any larger pieces in halves or quarters, if needed. You can leave very small and tender baby bok choy whole, just make sure all of the bok choy is roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, then add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds, but be sure not to burn.
Add the bok choy and stir-fry for 2-4 minutes, until the green leaves are wilted and the stalks are tender-crisp. I find it easiest to use tongs and when working with baby bok choy so I can grab some of the leaves and turn them over or toss them around the pan.
Add the soy sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper, then cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot.
You can make this side Whole30 compliant by subbing coconut aminos for the soy sauce, or just using salt to season the bok choy instead.
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