Baby Bok Choy with Warm Garlic-Soy Dressing is the refreshing and savory side you’ve been looking for! Crisp-tender baby bok choy are lightly sauteed, and then paired with an Asian-style sauce of fresh garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha.
Healthy Baby Bok Choy Side Dish
You know how it is. You’re walking through the produce section, grabbing a bell pepper here, a bag of potatoes there… and then you see them. Literally the cutest vegetable in existence (sorry, radishes). That’s right, I’m talking about baby bok choy!
Although I love regular bok choy, I like the “baby” version way more! These adorable little vegetables are full of flavor, crunch, and color and are so easy to cook. My favorite way to make bok choy is to slice them down the middle and pan-fry them in a skillet with an Asian-style dressing.
What Is Bok Choy?
Bok Choy, also known as Pak Choi or Chinese Cabbage, is a leafy green vegetable that has been a staple in Asian cuisine for centuries. Renowned for its mild flavor and amazing crunch, Bok Choy brings a unique combination of texture and taste to any dish. For this recipe, we will be using baby bok choy, which is simply a smaller and somewhat tenderer variety of bok choy.
How To Cut Baby Bok Choy
Baby bok choy is quite easy to prepare and cut. Here’s a simple method:
- Wash: Rinse the baby bok choy under cool running water to remove any grit or dirt that may be stuck in the leaves.
- Trim: Cut off the very end of the base, but keep the bulb intact so the leaves stay connected.
- Halve or Quarter: If the bok choy is small or if it’s baby bok choy, cut it in half lengthwise. If it’s a little larger, you might want to quarter it. This exposes the inner layers to whatever you’re cooking it with, allowing for more even flavor absorption.
- Cook: Now your bok choy is ready to cook! You can sauté it, steam it, stir-fry it, or even grill it.
Ingredients For Bok Choy
So what will you need for this simple side dish? All you need are fresh baby bok choy and a little oil. From there, the dressing is made in the same skillet, using pan-Asian staples.
- Oil: Choose vegetable, avocado, or coconut oil.
- Baby Bok Choy: Halve the heads/stalks longwise.
- Garlic: Preferably minced fresh garlic, though garlic powder works too.
- Soy Sauce: Low sodium or alternatives like coconut aminos or tamari.
- Sriracha: For a spicy kick.
- Rice Vinegar: If unavailable, substitute with apple cider or white vinegar for a slightly different flavor.
- Lime Juice: Fresh is preferred, but bottled works too.
- Sesame Oil: Adds a sweet, nutty flavor. Try to include it.
- Sesame Seeds: Optional garnish.
How to Cook Baby Bok Choy
This dish cooks up fast, so it’s helpful to have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go before you start.
- Cook the Bok Choy Uncovered. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the halved baby bok choy pieces in the skillet, cut side down. Let them cook for 2 minutes, and then turn and cook for one minute on the other side. (If the skillet seems dry, you can add more oil.)
- Cook the Bok Choy Covered. Cover the skillet and allow the baby bok choy halves to steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender, turning them once or twice during cooking. Transfer to a plate or platter and set aside.
- Make the Dressing. In the same skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Then add the soy sauce, sriracha, rice vinegar, lime juice, and sesame oil, whisking to combine. Allow the dressing to cook for one minute or until it just starts to thicken.
- Finish the Dish. Drizzle or brush the dressing over the bok choy. Garnish with sesame seeds, and serve warm.
Tips for Success
If you’ve never cooked with bok choy before, it’s really easy, and these handy tips will make it even easier.
- Rinse Well: Like other leafy veggies, bok choy needs a good wash to remove any grit or dirt before cooking.
- Cook in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan, which can reduce the temperature and actually steam them. Instead, cook the stalks in batches.
- Substitute Large Bok Choy: You can make this dish with full-sized bok choy, but trim off the tough stem ends and cut the bok choy into segments about 3 inches long. You’ll end up with more of a stir-fry.
- Cut the Heat: Not a fan of spicy sriracha? Try using sweet chili sauce instead! It brings its own special touch of sweetness, as well.
- Storing Bok Choy: Put the bok choy in a ziploc bag and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Wondering what to serve with bok choy? I recommend the following Asian-inspired recipes to go with the savory dressing:
- Chicken Thighs: Perfectly sticky, caramelized, and drool-worthy, these Asian Glazed Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are a family favorite!
- Noodles: Sweet, savory, and satisfying! A big bowl of Garlic Peanut Noodles is perfect with a side of baby bok choy.
- Cashew Chicken: The takeout classic is super simple and easy to make with this Skinny Cashew Chicken recipe.
More Asian Inspired Recipes
Baby Bok Choy with Garlic Soy Dressing
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 pieces (about 1.5 pounds total) baby bok choy, halved longwise
- Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- To the hot oil add the halved bok choy pieces to the skillet, cut side down; cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn over the bok choy and cook for a minute. Add more oil, if needed.
- Cover and continue to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Turn the bok choy couple times while cooking.
- When done, remove bok choy from the skillet and set aside.
- Return skillet to the heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant.
- To the skillet, add soy sauce, sriracha, rice vinegar, lime juice, and sesame oil; whisk until well combined.
- Cook for 1 minute, or just until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat.
- Drizzle or brush the sauce over the bok choy.
- Garnish with sesame seeds.
- Rinse: Wash bok choy thoroughly to eliminate grit or dirt.
- Batch Cooking: Avoid overcrowding in the pan, which might steam the stalks.
- Use Large Bok Choy: You can substitute baby bok choy with full-sized ones. Trim and cut them into 3-inch segments for a stir-fry effect.
- Spice Adjustments: Swap spicy sriracha with sweet chili sauce if preferred.
- Storage: Store bok choy in a ziploc bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Store leftover cooked bok choy in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store the sauce separately.
- To reheat leftovers, place the bok choy and sauce in a covered skillet over low heat and cook until just heated through.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.