Stir-fried bok choy

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Stir-fried bok choy

Bok choy, aka Chinese cabbage, is available as baby bok choy or adult bok choy. The lower half is bulbous and white with segments like the broad bottoms of celery stalks. The leaves are a rich green and fan out a bit. Really fresh bok choy simply looks fresh.

 I brought three heads home not knowing what would happen next. I decided that a simple stir-fry would be a good way to learn how to use this vegetable.

The first recipe I read said to cut the leaves into strips and save the "stems" for another time. Not being able to easily envision "another time", another book said to stir-fry the stems until they were green. But the stems were white. I thought maybe they meant the leaves which were already green.

At this point, totally confused, I consulted the internet which said to use all of the bok choy — just that the leaves cooked in 2 minutes and the stems in 5 minutes. Now it was starting to make sense.

It finally made sense when I stir-fried the white stems and they, magically, turned light green.

Try this very simple and tasty stir fry as a side dish with fish. 


  • 3 heads bok choy, washed, stems and leaves cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Pepper to taste


  1. In a wok or a skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.
  2. Stir-fry the stems for about three minutes. They will start to turn green.
  3. Add the leaves, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry another 2 minutes.
  4. Toss with soy sauce and sesame oil. Season to taste.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately.