Bok choy was one of my favourite vegetables growing up but only if it was perfectly cooked. This is similar to how they do it in Chinese restaurants using the fast stir fry method with high heat, a teeny bit of oil, but with a regular pan instead of the traditional wok.
As a kid growing up, I did’t understand the idea that kids aren’t supposed to like vegetables. I didn’t understand why “greens” were something that parents forced on their children. I LOVED green vegetables. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that I was just lucky; my parents knew how to bring out the brilliant flavour of fresh produce with certain cooking techniques.
Watch the tutorial below to learn how to make a bok choy stir fry (in TEN MINUTES OR LESS) that brings out the vegetable’s natural sweet and savory flavours while preserving the wonderful nutrients within. You can also use the same technniques for other vegetables like spinach, watercress, brocolli, and chard.
Video tutorial for how to make restaurant-style bok choy
Printable recipe for Restaurant-style Bok Choy
- 10 oz bok choy
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 slice ginger, about 1/4" thick and 1/2" diameter
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil (I used canola)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (optional to thicken the sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce/liquid aminos (more or less to taste or use salt)
- Wash the bok choy thoroughly and trim away any discoloration, yellowed leaves or tough stems.
- Prepare a half cup of water. Mix in a half tablespoon of cornstarch if you would like to end up with a light sauce. Set this aside, ready to be used.
- Over high heat, heat up a pan large enough to hold the bok choy in one layer.
- When hot, add one teaspoon of oil (or less). It should start shimmering right away if your pan is hot enough. Quickly add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir with chopsticks or a long wooden spoon. Stand well away from the stove as the oil may spit a little.
- Add the bok choy, distributing it around the pan so that it will cook evenly. Cover the pan with a lid (or with another pan like I did in the video).
- Let cook for about one minute.
- Remove the lid, tilting it away from you so that the steam doesn't fly up in your face.
- Stir the bok choy around, flipping over any large pieces so that they cook on the other side.
- Add the cornstarch and water mixture. It should bubble up almost right away, thickening the sweet bok choy water that has formed during cooking.
- Add soy sauce or salt. To check if your bok choy is done, take a piece of a white stem, blowing on it to cool, and then taste. It should be crisp but sweet. Allow to cook for a 30 seconds or a minute more if you prefer.
- Remove from heat and serve. Enjoy! 🙂