Bok choy, also known as pak choi, is a leafy green vegetable. Though it is commonly used in stir fries, you can boil pak choi for an easy side dish.
You can eat pak choi raw in salads or cook it in various recipes. Cooking the vegetable may allow you to consume larger quantities of it since the leaves cook down. As you boil pak choi, remember that the stalks take longer to cook than the leaves. Even then, it only takes a few minutes for the entire vegetable to cook through.
What is Bok Choy?
Bok choy or pak choi is a type of Chinese cabbage. According to Cleveland Clinic, it is a cruciferous vegetable. It has a similar texture to green cabbage, though the bulbs are much smaller. Though it is often cooked, you can also consume pak choi raw.
This green vegetable is also a source of many nutrients. According to the USDA, one cup of cooked bok choy contains:
- 20 calories
- 0.3 grams of fat
- 3 grams of carbohydrates
- 2.7 grams of protein
- 1.7 grams of fiber
- 49 percent daily value (DV) of vitamin C
- 48 percent DV of vitamin K
- 40 percent DV of vitamin A
- 13 percent DV of potassium
Though bok choy is not a significant source of calories, it is a significant source of many vitamins. It also contains iron and calcium.
In addition to being a nutrient-dense vegetable, bok choy has dietary benefits. It is a low-calorie vegetable, so it is great for people following a low-calorie diet for weight loss. People following a low-carb regimen can also incorporate pak choi into their daily carb allowance since it only contains three carbs per serving.
Read more: Digestion of Raw Cabbage
How to Boil Pak Choi
To boil pak choi, start by preparing the vegetables. Wash each one thoroughly to remove any dirt. You can then cut the bok choy if desired. Though it can be cooked whole, cutting the pak choi in half lengthwise makes it easier to eat.
Since the stalks take longer to cook than the leaves, you can opt to cut them off before boiling. This leaves just the leaves, which will all cook uniformly in the same amount of time.
Once your vegetables are prepared, you can start to boil the leaves. Add them to a large pot of boiling water. It only takes one to two minutes of boiling for the leaves to cook through, so monitor them closely. Avoid overcooking as this results in a soggy texture.
Once the bok choy leaves are cooked, you can eat them plain, season them or add them to pak choi recipes for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Read more: Do Vegetables Lose Nutrients When Cooked?
Pak Choi Recipes for Vegetarians
Pak choi recipes for vegetarians often include tofu and other vegetables. Mayo Clinic recommends adding a hoisin sauce to pak choi as an alternative to barbecue sauce recipes for vegetarians since hoisin sauce has a taste similar to barbecue sauce.
Many bok choy recipes call for spices and added flavors like garlic, ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce and more. Seasoning the bok choy with these spices will allow them to pair well with Asian-inspired recipes.
In the summer, you can try pak choi raw. When chopped finely, it adds a nice crunchy texture to salad recipes and other raw dishes.