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Bok Choy: The Chinese Cabbage Or Filipino “Pechay”

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Bok choy or pak choi (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis) is a type of Chinese cabbage. Chinensis varieties do not form heads; instead, they have smooth, dark green leaf blades forming a cluster reminiscent of mustard or celery.

Chinensis varieties are popular in southern China and Southeast Asia. Being winter-hardy, they are increasingly grown in Northern Europe.

This group was originally classified as its own species under the name B. chinensis by Linnaeus.

What is bok choy
Is bok choy a Pechay?

Bok choy is the Brassica rapa chinensis and it’s the same cabbage as pechay in the Philippines. It’s leafy, green, and perfect for long cooking times in many soups, stir-fries, and stews.

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What does “bok choy” mean in Chinese?

Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, is a type of cabbage that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. The term “bok choy” actually refers to white vegetable in Cantonese and siu bok choy means small white vegetable while dai bok choy means large.

What does bok choy taste like?

Bok choy has a slightly sweet and nutty taste. When cooked, it becomes tender but still retains a slight crunch. Bok choy is often used in soups and stir-fries.

How do you choose the best bok choy?

When choosing bok choy, look for crisp, dark green leaves with firm white stalks. Avoid bok choy that has wilted leaves or yellowing stalks.

How do you store bok choy?

Bok choy can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Wrap the bok choy in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag before storing it in the fridge.

How do you cook bok choy?

Bok choy is typically chopped into small pieces before being used in a recipe. The leaves and stalks can be cooked together or separately. Bok choy can be steamed, stir-fried, or added to soup.

How long does bok choy take to cook?

Bok choy takes about 5-7 minutes to cook. The leaves and stalks can be cooked together or separately. Bok choy can be steamed, stir-fried, or added to soup.

How do you cook bok choy so it’s not bitter?

To remove some of the bok choy’s bitterness you can blanche it before cooking. Cut the stems in halve or cut them up and cook them together with the leaves for 45 seconds. If it’s still too bitter, you can add the cut bok choy to a bath of salt water for 10 minutes before rinsing them off and cooking them.

Is bok choy better raw or cooked?

The level of nutrients in bok choy significantly decreases when the vegetable is cooked. For this reason, it is best to consume bok choy raw or only lightly cooked. It’s also delicious and crunchy when raw and goes well directly added to salads.

Popular bok choy seasoning and sauce

Bok choy is often seasoned with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.

How to eat bok choy

Bok choy can be eaten cooked or raw. When eating raw bok choy, it is important to wash the leaves thoroughly to remove any dirt or sand.

Bok choy can be added to salads or used as a wrap for other ingredients. cooked bok choy can be served as a side dish or added to soups and stir-fries.

What part of the bok choy are you supposed to eat?

The leaves and stalks of the bok choy are edible. The leaves are dark green and have a slightly bitter taste while the stalks are white and have a milder flavor.

You can eat baby bok choy whole but should cut up the larger vegetables.

What are the benefits of eating bok choy?

Bok choy is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains calcium, iron, and magnesium. Bok choy is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

What’s the origin of bok choy?

Bok choy is native to China and has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. It was first mentioned in a Chinese agricultural treatise dating back to the 1st century AD.

Bok choy quickly became a popular vegetable in China and spread to other parts of Asia.

What’s the difference between bok choy and pak choy?

Bok choy and pak choy are the exact same Chinese cabbage so there’s no difference. Americans call this cabbage bok choy, while the Brits call it pak choy.

You also see these differences used in Asian countries with either American or British heritage.

What’s the difference between bok choy and napa cabbage?

Napa cabbage and bok choy are the two types of Chinese cabbage. Napa cabbage is larger and has frilly, light green leaves.

Bok choy has dark green leaves and white stalks. Both vegetables are used in Chinese cuisine, but bok choy is more common.


Bok choy is a delicious and healthy vegetable that can be used in many ways so start using it today!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.