Bok choy (also spelled “bok choi” or “pak choi”) is a such a contradictory, complex, and delicious vegetable. When cooked properly, the stalks are creamy and have an underlying sweetness while the darker green leaves have an earthy flavor similar to chard or spinach. A member of the cabbage family, bok choy is a staple in Chinese cuisine, but most Americans have no idea what to do with it – including me, until it showed up in my weekly produce box and I had no choice but figure it out!
I borrowed the flavors from my recent beef with broccoli experiments for this recipe, giving it a distinctly Chinese flavor. Unlike with the beef recipe, I found that the fresh garlic and fresh ginger was far superior to the dried equivalent and added a nice texture to the dish as well. Using coconut aminos (buy here) makes it soy free and therefore paleo-friendly. It’s also a great dish for people following a low-FODMAP diet and the autoimmune protocol because bok choy is one of the vegetables on a relatively short list that is compliant with both healing diets.
This recipe is designed specifically for the younger and smaller baby bok choy and works best with bok choy that weigh no more than 4 ounces each. If you can only get larger bok choy, then remove one or two layers of the large outer stalks and cook them separately.
Notes for healing diets:
- Whole30: Totally compliant!
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): Coconut aminos is not SCD legal, though a lot of people use it anyway. If you aren’t comfortable using it, simply substitute an equal amount of broth and add salt to taste.
- Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP): Omit the optional sesame seeds.
- Low-FODMAPs: Omit the garlic.
Baby Bok Choy Recipe
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth (preferably home made)
- 1 tablespoon rice or white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 medjool date, minced
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 baby bok choy, each head halved lengthswise
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- sesame seeds (optional)
- Combine the coconut aminos, broth, vinegar, sesame oil, and date in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet over high hight.
- Place the bok choy, cut-side down, in the skillet in a single layer. Cook without moving until lightly browned (about 2 minutes).
- Turn the bok choy and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 1 minute.
- Remove bok choy to a plate and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil, garlic, and ginger to pan and cook for just a few seconds, then add the coconut aminos mixture and simmer for about 30-60 seconds or until thickened.
- Return bok choy to the pan and cook, turning once, until glazed with the sauce, about 1 minute.
- Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, if using, and serve immediately.
For more great bok choy recipes:
- Spicy Shrimp with Bok Choy – Oh Lardy!
- Coconut Bok Choy Smoothie – Good Girl Gone Green
- Raw Kale and Bok Choy Salad – Small Footprint Family
Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.