We are always told to eat our greens and the great thing is that there are so many greens to choose from. Dark, leafy greens are some of the most important but not everybody includes enough of these in their diet. Then again, some leafy greens have something of a bad reputation – spinach, anyone?
Bok Choy is one of two vegetables that are commonly referred to as Chinese cabbage. The vegetable can be used in a variety of ways and boasts a cabbagey taste that is mild and quite pleasant, even to those who aren’t keen on eating their greens!
But looking at bok choy might leave you with many more questions other than what does bok choy taste like so we decided to create a little ‘getting to know you’ post for this healthy and delicious food.
What Does Bok Choy Taste Similar To?
Bok choy could be compared to cabbage. It has a mild taste that is utterly inoffensive. That said, the flavor of bok choy may vary depending on which part of the vegetable you are tasting. For example, the green leaves of the bok choy have mineral notes and may be slightly bitter. However, when bok choy is relatively young, you probably won’t notice much of this bitterness and this is something that develops with age. Younger bok choy tends to be much sweeter, akin to the taste of lettuce.
In contrast, the white part of the bok choy is much fresher. Since this part of the plant is much more moisture-heavy, you will find that it is quite refreshing and has a nice crunch to it.
How Do You Get The Bitterness Out Of Bok Choy?
As we have discovered, bok choy becomes notably more bitter as it ages but that doesn’t mean that it cannot still be enjoyed. Eating it at this stage simply requires a little bit of culinary know-how.
Bok choy is largely fried but this will not remove the bitter taste. However, by simply blanching the vegetable before frying it, much of the bitterness will be taken away. Moreover, it is not uncommon for adult bok choy to be used in soups as opposed to being eaten on its own, as you would with baby bok choy.
What’s the difference between bok choy and baby bok choy?
If you’ve ever found yourself questioning if there is indeed a difference between the two, you’ll be pleased to know that your confusion can end here. Bok choy and baby bok choy are the same thing. It’s just that the younger plants have smaller leaves, and as we have found out, are sweeter to taste.
If you find yourself with bitter adult bok choy, you could also try creating a stock to cover up that bitter flavor.
What Part Of Bok Choy Do You Eat?
One of the reasons that bok choy is such a popular ingredient in Asian dishes is that it is so versatile. All of the plant is edible and can be eaten both raw and cooked. If you like your leafy greens a little more crunchy then eating bok choy raw will probably be pleasing for you.
Is Bok Choy Poisonous?
Bok choy, when eaten in moderation is a very healthy food and can form part of a well balanced diet. However, the vegetable does contain a compound known as glucosinolates. While in small doses, this compound is believed to have anti-cancer properties, too much may be toxic. The effects can be more prominent in people with underlying health conditions.
How Do You Cook And Cut Bok Choy?
When you’re ready to prepare a delicious and seriously healthy meal using bok choy, you will first need to rinse the vegetable under fresh running water. Bear in mind that it is possible to leave the bok choy as it is, without cutting, and roast it to serve as a side dish.
If you prefer, you can chop the leaves off the top part of the bok choy and stir these into a fried dish. To do this, you only need to cut off the bottom bulbous part of the vegetable and the leaves and stalks will be left for you to enjoy. It is best to separate the stalks and cook these for a little longer as they take a spot more time. You can then stir in the leaves at the end for a pop of color.
While frying is a popular cooking method, it is not uncommon to boil bok choy. That said, if you want to chop it finely and use it in side dishes like slaw, this is perfectly acceptable.
What Is A Substitute For Bok Choy?
Bok choy is a member of the cabbage family and this means that there are a lot of other leafy greens that you can use in its place. For example, swiss chard is often used where bok choy is not available.
Furthermore, things like napa cabbage, also called chinese leaves, long stem broccoli, and green heart cabbage are all viable bok choy alternatives.
Is Bok Choy Healthy?
As well as being a very tasty vegetable, bok choy can lay claim to having a wealth of health benefits. As we mentioned earlier, the glucosinolates contained within this vegetable may have properties that can prevent cancer.
Moreover, bok choy is packed with antioxidants so may go towards improving your overall health, relieving inflammation and pain. You may also benefit from improved heart health and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease by eating bok choy thanks to the high levels of folate and vitamin b6.
In addition, bok choy is high in fiber which is vastly beneficial to your digestive health.
Bok Choy is a type of dark, leafy cabbage that is often used in Asian dishes. It is beautifully versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. As well as being incredibly healthy, bok choy has a mild taste that is easy on the palette, even if you aren’t typically a fan of greens. While adult bok choy has a slightly bitter taste, this can be removed through correct preparation.