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Often described as a hybrid of lettuce and celery, bok choy is an exceptionally nutritious vegetable. It has been part of many diets for centuries, and is loved for its crisp, fresh taste. Although it is used widely in numerous recipes, many people still don’t know how to cook bok choy at home. If you’re one of them, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to cook and add this food to your meals.
Why You Should Know How to Cook Bok Choy
Bok choy contains a wealth of nutrients your body can benefit from. It has over 250 milligrams of fiber per serving, which is highly advantageous for those with digestive problems. It is loaded with vitamin A, C and K, which are vital for your immune system, vision and protein production. It also provides plenty of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron to give your health an overall boost. 70 grams of bok choy only has 9 calories, making this a great food choice for weight watchers.
How to Cook Bok Choy at Home
The first thing you need to know when learning how to cook bok choy, is that it is a delicate vegetable. Overcook it and you might lose the texture and nutrients it holds. The best cooking methods are boiling, steaming and stir-frying. It can be prepared in ordinary cookware, but many prefer cooking it in a wok.
Boiling Bok Choy
When boiling bok choy, it is recommended that you cut the stalks off. This is because stalks take a bit longer to cook than the leaves. Pour water in a pot and bring to a boil. Drop bok choy into the water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Avoid cooking it for longer because it tends to become soggy fast.
Steaming Bok Choy
Steaming takes a little longer than boiling, but requires the stalks and leaves to be separated as well. Ideally, you should steam the leaves for a couple of minutes and the stalks for about 6 minutes. Steaming is a good cooking option if you want to add bok choy to main dishes as an ingredient. Stalks should be tender and leaves slightly wilted when it is ready.
Stir-frying Bok Choy
For those learning how to cook bok choy, stir-frying it is perhaps the best cooking method you can use. The benefit of stir-fry is that it preserves the original flavor and texture of the vegetable. Add a tablespoon or two to a wok or pan and sauté garlic, ginger, soy sauce, broth or your choice of seasoning. Toss in bok choy and stir-fry for approximately 5 minutes. Avoid overcooking it because it might become too crispy.
Cooking Tips and Precautions for Bok Choy
When shopping for bok choy, avoid any pieces that have brown spots appearing on them. You can store it in the fridge but make sure you wrap it in paper towels. Do not refrigerate it for more than 7 days. Seasoning that best complements bok choy includes salt, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chicken broth and sesame oil.
Bok choy is a light, nutrient-rich vegetable you can work into your dishes. Whether you prefer to snack on it alone or add it to a stir-fry, it is easy to cook and prepare. The most important tips you have to remember when learning how to cook bok choy is to separate stalks from leaves, and to keep cooking time short and sweet.