Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy are in the cruciferous (Brassica) family of vegetables, which also includes other cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and brussel sprouts. The word cabbage comes from the French word for head – caboche. Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy are just one type of hundreds of varieties of cabbage. Others that are commonly sold in grocery stores are red cabbage, green cabbage, savoy cabbage and Chinese (napa) cabbage.
Three Reasons to Eat Bok Choy
- Bok Choy has a higher concentration of beta-carotene and vitamin A than any other type of cabbage (Baby Bok Choy has a lower concentration of those nutrients because it is harvested when it is immature).
- Bok Choy and other cabbages contain sulfur compounds that increase the liver’s ability to counteract toxic substances.
- One cup of cooked Bok Choy contains only 33 calories!
How to Select, Store & Prepare Bok Choy:
Select: Look for Bok Choy that has vibrant dark green leaves with firm stems. Avoid Bok Choy that is cracked, bruised or blemished.
Store: Fresh Bok Choy can last up to ten days when properly stored. Place Bok Choy in a plastic bag before refrigerating. Wrap the bag tightly around the Bok Choy, squeezing as much air out as possible. Keeping the Bok Choy in the coldest part of the refrigerator will help keep it fresh for a long period of time.
Prepare: Rinse Bok Choy under cold water before cutting. Cut off the tough bottom inch of the bunch of Bok Choy. Wash the individual leaves, which will be separated. Stack the leaves and cut into ¼” slices; cut stems into ¾” pieces. Put the leaves and stems in different bowls, as they require different cooking times (the stems require more time than the leaves).
Cooking Facts for Bok Choy
- Be careful not to overcook Bok Choy – if the stems become translucent or watery, you know you have overcooked them. The best way to cook Bok Choy is al dente. It makes them easier to digest and allows the vegetable’s nutrients to be more readily available for assimilation.