So it’s 3 O’Clock on Tuesday afternoon and I pull up to the CSA. Today it’s kale, snap peas and baby bok choy! Over the next 2 weeks, more bok choy, this time full grown. What do you do with this?
Bok Choy is a cabbage family veggie used in Asian cooking. So, the first thing I do is stir fry it with other veggies. But EVERYONE knows to do that. How else can you cook bok choy? Afterall, I was given some 3 weeks in a row. I needed to get creative!
Recipe 1: Sauteed Baby Bok Choy
My kids already have a history of making fun of me because of my love for baby bok choy. To be fair, how many people get visibly excited when they find baby bok choy in the produce department? Me. Just me.
Aside from being beautiful, baby bok choy is tender and has a more delicate taste than the adult version. Just clean it, cut it lengthwise and saute in peanut oil with a few cloves of sliced garlic until slightly wilted. At the end of cooking drizzle with Tamari sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seed to serve as a side dish. Yum.
Recipe 2: Classic Stir Fry with Adult Bok choy
I’m sure you already know how to make a stir fry. The only thing to know specifically about adult bok choy is you need to separate stems from leaves and cut them up separately.
Cut stems on the bias into 2 inch pieces and stack, roll and cut leaves into 1’ wide strips. The stems take longer to cook than the leaves so put them in the wok with the other veggies. The leaves go in last and cook only until the color pops.
3 More Ways to Prepare Adult Bok Choy
Okay, so by now no one in my house feels like stir fry. They groan when I mention bok choy.
But we are all staring down a big adult bok choy. And I leave no vegetable behind.
So here’s what I did…
Recipe 3: Bok Choy Slaw
Why not? It’s a cabbage. Sort of.
This was a big hit. I mean NO LEFT OVERS big hit. You moms out there are nodding knowingly. I can sense it.
What you need:
- A big adult bok choy, leaves off the core, cleaned and dried
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (if you like a lighter oil try avocado.)
- Sea salt and pepper
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
- Fresh parsley or other fresh herbs to taste
- Hand blender and large mixing bowl
What you do:
- Separate the bok choy into leafy portions and stem portions. You will be making a V shaped cut with the point towards the tip of the leaf to accomplish this. Cut the stems on the bias (at an angle) about 1/2“ wide pieces. Stack the leaves, roll them and cut into thin strips. Place both of them into the same mixing bowl.
- Now make the vinaigrette. I kind of wing this recipe, so follow me here. Place the lemon juice, zest, garlic in a tall cylinder or tall measuring cup. Eyeball the level of the lemon juice. Add approximately half that amount of oil. This can be adjusted to taste if you want to add more oil later. I just really like the bright taste of lemon.
- Use the stick blender to fully emulsify the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to throw in whatever fresh herbs you have at this point. I had parsley that day, so that’s what made the cut. Pour over cut bok choy and toss.
Recipe 4: Smoothies!
My sister, a CSA veteran, used the bok choy stems in smoothies this year because of the water content inherent in the stems. And they are so mild they do not give an overbearing taste to the smoothie either. Brilliant.
Recipe 5: Noodle Bowl
Baby bok choy is wonderful cut up and included in Asian themed noodle bowls too.
Over to You…
So start here, but use your imagination. The next time you see a veggie you are not used to, embrace the opportunity and cook creatively. Not only is it fun, but you enhance your nutrition status, too. And isn’t that really why we eat?