Bok choy is a leafy green vegetable that also goes by the name pak choi. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine and recipes like stir-fries. Preparing bok choy does not have to be complicated — you can boil, saute or steam bok choy.
Like many leafy greens, much of the flavor and nutrition is in the bok choy leaves. This is the main part of the vegetable that is consumed. When preparing bok choy, be sure not to remove the bok choy leaves.
The main methods of preparing bok choy include boiling, steaming and stir-frying. Since bok choy is rarely consumed raw, the best way to make bok choy is by cooking it.
Bok Choy Nutrition and Benefits
Like many vegetables, bok choy is full of vitamins and minerals. It is also associated with several health benefits, especially in relation to the digestive tract.
According to the USDA, 1 cup of cooked bok choy contains the following nutrients:
- 20 calories
- 2.65 grams of protein
- 0.27 grams of fat
- 3 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.7 grams of fiber
Bok choy also contains adequate amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium and iron.
Because it is naturally low in calories, fat and carbohydrates, bok choy can be used in a variety of diets. It can even be consumed as part of a weight loss regimen. If you are implementing a calorie deficit to lose weight, consuming bok choy is a great way to reduce calories without sacrificing nutrients.
For those with digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, consuming low-FODMAP foods like bok choy may help. According to Harvard Health Publishing, bok choy is recommended for people with IBS. Replacing high-FODMAP foods with low-FODMAP foods may alleviate some IBS symptoms.
Preparing Bok Choy
Because of its appearance, preparing bok choy may seem intimidating. You may also be confused about whether to consume the bok choy leaves as well as the thick stem.
Before cooking bok choy, it is important to wash and cut it. Wash the bok choy leaves thoroughly to remove any dirt. You can also remove any bok choy leaves that are wilted. Cutting the stem is optional. Since it is tough to chew, you may prefer to cut the stem and only keep the bok choy leaves.
One of the most popular methods of preparing bok choy is in Asian-inspired recipes. Mayo Clinic recommends steaming bok choy and serving it alongside tofu, hoisin sauce and other spices and condiments.
Other bok choy recipe ideas include stir-fries. Cleveland Clinic suggests adding bok choy to Chinese-inspired stir-fry recipes. Simply add ingredients to a wok or frying pan with some oil and add spices and sauces for flavor.
Bok Choy Recipe Ideas
Once you learn how to prepare bok choy, you can enjoy this nutritious vegetable regularly. It can also be incorporated in a variety of recipes. You can serve it with a protein and grain for a complete meal or mix it in a noodle or stir-fry dish.
For more bok choy recipe ideas, try these LIVESTRONG.com recipes:
Since bok choy is often served with tofu, vegans and vegetarians can enjoy bok choy recipes. It is also a vegetable that is compliant in many types of diets, so everyone can consume bok choy for its flavor and benefits.