Last Updated: November 5, 2021
A simple, easy and delicious way to get your daily intake of veggies! This Shanghai bok choy recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare and is a great compliment to rice or noodle dishes, pot stickers or just on its own.
Whenever I’m not sure what kind of veggies to cook, this Shanghai bok choy recipe is one of my go to options. For our weeknight dinners I usually aim for the “trinity” i.e. carb, protein and veggie to get the food groups in and more often than not it’s steamed rice, some sort of chicken and stir fried veggies. I shamelessly have a growing list of stir “fry-able” veggies cuz they’re just so darn easy to make. Mmmm ok…maybe a bagged, prewash salad might be a bit quicker but not by much!
Shanghai Bok Choy vs. Regular Bok Choy
I grew up always having a plate of some sort of greens at the dinner table so it’s a tradition I try to keep at home even today. Ok, it probably involves dessert promises but my kids have come to love vegetables – certain kinds at the very least! It’s a work in progress! Shanghai bok choy are one of my favourite chinese vegetables and also a winner with the kids. Yay!
There are two kinds of bok choy typically found in Asian grocery stores, one with a white stalk and another with a pale green stalk. The pale green ones are Shanghai bok choy and the white ones are just…well…regular bok choy…don’t know why. There are also full grown ones and sprouts (baby bok choy) – so 4 possible types of bok choy!
The ones I’ve prepared here are Shanghai bok choy sprouts. Bok choy sprouts are smaller and more tender to eat and more suitable for stir fries (IMO). The Shanghai ones are sweeter and I generally prefer them over the regular white ones.
These tender greens are sautéed with ginger, garlic, salt and a little soy sauce. It’s a delicate and light dish. To add a bit more savouriness, mix in a bit of oyster sauce. I personally like it that way but I also know a lot of Chinese ladies that like it without it – it’s called “tsing chao” or “clean fry”. Although I have measured amounts written below, this dish is really a salt, soy, oyster sauce “to taste” type recipe. I would start with the guidelines below and add to your preference.
Give these greens a try and lemme know what you think!
If you like leafy vegetables check out my equally easy yu choy recipe.
Shanghai Bok Choy Stir Fry (Bok Choy Sprouts)
- carbon steel wok or large stainless steel pan
- 2 lbs Shanghai bok choy sprouts
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil) for stir frying
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
Prepare Bok Choy Sprouts
- Trim and slice bok choy sprouts in half (length wise) (as per picture)
- Place cut bok choy sprouts in a clean sink or large basin full of water. Move and shake the vegetables around in the water to loosen any dirt that might be caught between the leaves. Gently rub the stems to loosen the dirt
- Remove bok choy and shake out as much water as you can. Place sprouts in a colander to dry
Cook Bok Choy Sprouts
- Heat wok or pan on medium/high heat
- Add oil, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until fragrant for 30 seconds
- Add bok choy sprouts, soy sauce and salt. Toss and stir until well mixed
- Cook bok choy for 3-5 mins depending on how large the stalks are. I usually check tenderness simply by sampling one. The bok choy are cooked when the stalks are translucent but still hold their structure and their leaves are wilted. Cook a bit longer if you prefer a softer texture
- Add oyster sauce once bok choy sprouts are cooked. Add salt to taste
- Serve immediately
- Make sure the bok choy is a dry as possible by shaking out excess water or blotting roughly with paper towels. If they are too wet, they will sizzle and pop too much in the hot wok/pan
- A wok is best for sautéing Chinese veggies for the “wok hei” but a stainless steel pan would work just fine. I would recommend cooking in 2 batches to not overcrowd the pan
Thanks for the detailed steps. Best way to eat bok choy!
Thanks for trying it out. I agree the simplicity really highlights the sweet flavour of the bak choy 🙂