Baby Bok Choy, Sautéed and Steamed

Baby Bok Choy, Sautéed and Steamed

  • By Cate Whittington
  • /
  • April 2018 - Vol.4 No. 4
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A cruciferous vegetable, the word bok choy stems from the Chinese “bai” (white) and “cai” (cabbage). Nutrient-rich, bok choy is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

On a recent visit to Druknya House, the newly-opened Tibetan restaurant in Charlottesville, I ordered the bok choy and was not disappointed. Delicious and tasting of butter, I was unable to ascertain how it had actually been prepared. My personal experience with bok choy had been to sauté or steam it quickly, but I had not achieved the amount of flavor that I experienced at Druknya House, so I began to play around with various recipes. My resulting combination of stir-frying and steaming does not include butter, but is packed with low-calorie flavor. By adding leftover tofu with soy-ginger sauce and some brown rice to a helping of this tasty bok choy, I enjoyed a completely satisfying and nutritious meal.

I believe the secrets to the recipe below are two-fold: ONE, begin with a cold pan and TWO, steam briefly after sautéing. A simply delicious side dish.



2 Tablespoons cooking oil

2-3 garlic cloves, sliced

1″ knob of ginger, peeled and grated

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 bunches baby bok choy

Salt to taste

1/4 cup chicken broth or water

Soy sauce or toasted sesame oil, optional

Lemon, cut in wedges


  1. In a cold pan, combine cooking oil with garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
  2. As the pan begins to get hot and the ingredients begin to sizzle, add the bok choy all at once. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Brown lightly on one side; turn and brown the other side (total of about 4-5 minutes).
  3. Add chicken broth or water to the pan. Cover and steam for about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan lid and continue to cook until liquid evaporates.
  5. Drizzle with soy sauce or toasted sesame oil if desired.
  6. Serve with a wedge of lemon for the finishing touch.



  1. Susan Martin

    This looks so delicious and quick! Can’t wait to try this plus your cabbage bundles recipe from last month. Also wanted to compliment you on the visual presentation of white and green bok choy on the green-trimmed plate and green table cover. Such attention to detail! Lovely!

  2. Nancy Bishop

    Sounds easy and looks yummy! I’m always looking for new veggie ideas for meals and bok choy is one that I’ve never tried to cook…but will definitely give it a try now with your directions!

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