How to Cook Bok Choy 6 Different Ways—Including Steamed, Grilled, and More
Add this quick-cooking Chinese veggie to your regular dinner rotation.
Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage with soft, leafy greens, and crunchy, celery-like stalks that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. You can add bok choy to a stir fry, but it also stands on its own as a vegetable side for any main dish.
Like leeks, bok choy can be pretty gritty, so make sure to clean each leaf thoroughly before cooking. We typically cut the bok choy in half lengthwise before cleaning it to make sure every last bit is grit-free. Plus, halved bok choy cooks faster and soaks up flavors more easily. Bok choy is pretty mild and grassy in flavor, so we like dressing it up with punchy ingredients like garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes. Below, you’ll find six different ways to cook bok choy, each with its own benefits.
How to Roast Bok Choy
Roasted bok choy is a worthy addition to your sheet pan repertoire; it cooks for 10 minutes max, so it’s an easy last-minute side for something like glazed salmon, and the high heat yields crispy leaves and tender stalks.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you clean the bok choy and cut it in half lengthwise.
Place the bok choy on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
Bake until the stalks are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
How to Steam Bok Choy
For a fresh, simple preparation of bok choy, simmer some water and start steaming. You won’t get crispy edges with this method, but sometimes tender, juicy greens are exactly what you want.
Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer while you clean the bok choy and cut it in half lengthwise.
Place the bok choy in a steamer basket over the simmering water.
Steam until the stalks are tender, about 7 minutes.
How to Grill Bok Choy
Grilled bok choy might be unconventional, but trust us: it’s a winner. The direct heat cooks the bok choy quickly, and the final product has gorgeous grill marks, crispy leaves, and tender stalks. Once you know this method, you’ll want to start grilling all of your greens.
Preheat an outdoor grill (or a grill pan) on medium-high heat while you clean the bok choy and cut it in half lengthwise.
Sprinkle the bok choy with salt, and lightly oil the grill’s surface.
Place bok choy on the preheated grill, cut side down, and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn bok choy to the other side and cook for about 3 additional minutes.
How to Sauté Bok Choy
This stovetop method for cooking bok choy is reliable and easy, and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. We like adding garlic, ginger, or chili flakes to the oil at the beginning to infuse the bok choy with flavor. A splash of water and a quick steam ensures that the bok choy cooks all the way through.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan with a lid while you clean the bok choy and cut it in half lengthwise.
Sprinkle the bok choy with salt, then add it to the pan.
Cook the bok choy for about 2 minutes, then add a few tablespoons of water, cover the pan, and cook for about 2 more minutes.
Uncover, and cook for a few more minutes, or until the stalks are tender and the liquid has almost completely evaporated.
How to Cook Bok Choy in the Instant Pot
For the easiest, speediest bok choy, look to the Instant Pot. Thanks to the high pressure setting, your bok choy will be cooked to perfection in less than 5 minutes. Feel free to add some aromatics, like ginger, garlic, and chili flakes, to the oil during the sauté step to jazz up the bok choy.
Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the Instant Pot, then press “Saute” and let cook for about 1 minute.
Sprinkle the bok choy with salt and add it to the Instant Pot with a splash of water. Cook at high pressure for 3-4 minutes, or until the stalks are tender. When it’s done, do a quick pressure release.
How to Cook Bok Choy in the Air Fryer
Oven-roasting and air-frying have similar effects on bok choy, but air-frying takes significantly less time. In other words, if you’re in a pinch, the air fryer is your friend. With both methods, the leaves get charred, crispy, and frilly, while the stalks get tender, with just the right amount of crunch.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees while you clean the bok choy and cut it in half lengthwise.
Sprinkle the bok choy with salt and add it to the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Cook for about 6 minutes, or until the stalks are tender, flipping halfway through.
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