This Sautéed Bok Choy recipe is seasoned with soy-garlic Asian flavors and cooks in just five minutes. It makes the perfect veggie side dish!
We love our bok choy stir fry but when we want some simple greens to pair with dinner, sauteing the bok choy on its own is always a winner. It’s quick to cook, needs very few seasonings, and pairs well with almost anything.
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What is bok choy?
Bok choy or pak choi is a kind of Chinese cabbage often used in Asian cuisine. It has dark green top leaves and a light, crunchy base. In supermarkets, you get two kinds of bok choy- the young baby bok choy or the mature one with large green leaves.
We use both kinds interchangeably, and they are such delicious veggies. Here are some reasons why you’ll love this sauteed bok choy recipe-
- Incredible texture. This sautéed bok choy has a sticky caramelized exterior and a juicy, soft interior.
- Five-ingredient recipe. With minimal savory ingredients and bok choy, you’ll have one of the tastiest sides ever.
- Perfect side dish. Like spinach, you can pair this veggie with pretty much anything!
- Healthy. Bok choy is rich in vitamins C and K, minerals, and antioxidants and has few calories.
To make this quick and easy recipe, you’ll need five common pantry ingredients and the star of the dish, bok choy. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bok choy. Pick fresh, clean bok choy and cut each bunch in quarters. Retain their cores.
- Garlic. Use freshly minced garlic so that it coats bok choy evenly.
- Sesame oil. For the nutty sesame flavor that builds a complex Asian taste. Only a little is used because it’s quite the flavor powerhouse!
- Olive oil. We prefer using olive oil for our recipes, but any neutral oil like avocado, sunflower, or canola will work for this recipe.
- Soy sauce. To make the tasty, umami-flavored sauce for sautéing bok choy.
- Sesame seeds & red pepper flakes. While toasted sesame seeds add a layer of complexity with their crunch and nuttiness, red pepper flakes boost the spice levels.
How to sauté bok choy
This recipe for sautéed bok choy is so easy to follow; all you need do is follow these four simple steps for a smashing side.
Step 1- Prep the bok choy. Scrub, wash, and clean the bok choy thoroughly. Using a sharp knife, chop each bunch into four quarters and set aside.
Step 3- Cook bok choy. Stir fry bok choy with oil and garlic for a minute. Add soy sauce and water, cover it with a lid and cook bok choy for roughly 3 minutes until softened.
Step 4- Garnish and serve hot. Remove bok choy from the heat and garnish it with toasted sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Enjoy it hot.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Soak bok choy in water. To get rid of the dirt from the bok choy, soak it in water for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry clean bok choy before using.
- Don’t overcook bok choy. Overcooking will result in wilted, dull bok choy without any crunch. To avoid this unpleasant texture, remove it from the heat as soon as it softens.
- No need to add salt. Because soy sauce contains lots of salt, you don’t need to add it again to season bok choy. Adjust the salt to your taste if you use a low-sodium soy sauce.
- Cut in even-sized pieces. To ensure this dish cooks at the same time.
Like any vegetable, this one is so easy to dress up and change up to change its flavor and texture. Here are some ideas-
- Make fancy bok choy. With soy sauce, you can also add a couple of teaspoons of cooking wine to the sauce. You can also add crispy fried bacon to it for a richer taste. For a different Asian flavor, try hoisin, oyster, or honey-ginger sauce for dressing bok choy.
- Add a splash of acidity. Vinegar or lemon juice will add brightness to the dish. Finish the bok choy with just a teaspoon of choice of your acid and toss the bok choy before serving.
- Add in other veggies. Add mushrooms or broccoli to the mix with bok choy for a generous helping of veggies.
- Use baby bok choy. Baby bok choy has a sweeter taste and cooks faster. You can easily substitute regular bok choy with baby one in this recipe.
- Make soupy bok choy. You can enjoy the sautéed bok choy on its own or add it to your favorite noodle soup or rice.
What to serve with this dish
- Asian favorites. Nothing beats some sesame chicken, honey walnut shrimp, General Tso’s chicken, or Empress chicken.
- Chicken. Simple cuts of chicken work well, like baked chicken thighs, air fryer chicken breast, or some grilled chicken wings.
- Steak. Always a classic, steak and veggies are such a simple and delicious combo. Try Denver steak or ranch steak for something different.
- Salmon. When I want a healthy dinner, salmon and some green vegetable is my go-to. For variety, I alternate between air fryer salmon, salmon bites, or firecracker salmon.
- Vegetarian favorites. Pretty much anything goes, including a vegetarian pot pie, some air fryer tofu, or a cheesy pasta bake.
To store. Leftover bok stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
To freeze. I highly recommend not freezing bok choy as it will ruin the texture of the tender leaves.
To reheat. Heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds before eating.
More sauteed vegetables to try
Frequently asked questions
You can eat all of the bok choy. Some people don’t like the tough core of the vegetable, but if you don’t mind it, you can eat it too.
No, it is not. But you can substitute regular soy sauce with gluten-free soy sauce to make it gluten-free.
Yes, just like cabbage, you can enjoy it raw as a part of a salad or relish or as a soup topping.
First, cut bok choy along the length to make halves. Then cut them again lengthwise into two halves. This way, you’ll have four quarters with long leaves still attached to the white stalks.
Sautéed Bok Choy
- Add oil and sesame oil to a non-stick skillet and place over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the bok choy and cook for another minute. Add the soy sauce and a few spoons of water and cover the pan. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove the bok choy from the heat and serve immediately.
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