Chinese table is famous for its dark green vegetables and Shanghai bok choy is the top one from them. Sometimes you may find it is called Shanghai Green or Baby bok choy. Shanghai Bok Choy has long, dark green leaves and a thick, white stem. It is famous for its slightly sweet and mild flavor. We eat lots of Shanghai bok choy every week.
What's bok choy
Before we go to Shanghai bok choy, you can have a small discussion about the parent catalog-Bok Choy. Bok choy also known as Bai Cai (白菜) is quite a large group of Chinese vegetables including cream bok choy, Shanghai bok choy, and baby bok choy.
What's Shanghai bok choy
Shanghai bok choy is one type of Chinese bok choy. The Chinese name of Shanghai bok choy is "Shanghai qing", meaning "Shanghai Greens". They have dark green leaves and regular green stems. Shanghai bok choy is featured by its small size, with each head typically measuring around 4-6 inches in length. The leaves of Shanghai bok choy are dark green with a light green stem. Shanghai bok choy is extremely popular now because it contains lots of fiber, is super low in calories, and is rich in vitamins ad minerals including calcium and iron. Based on personal experience, I love it mainly because of the sweet, mild flavor that can combine better with lots of sauces and ingredients.
Sometimes you may encounter baby Shanghai Bok Choy which actually has a very similar appearance to the regular one. But much smaller. it is just the younger stage of Shanghai Bok Choy.
We have lots of interesting ways of making Shanghai bok choy. In most cases, we stir-fried it, but sometimes it is steamed, sauteed, or used in a salad, noodle soup, and wontons soups. Its mild flavor and tender texture make it a popular choice for incorporating into a wide range of recipes.
Shanghai bok choy is considered a super healthy food because of its nutritional fats for example low in calories, high content of fiber, and rich in vitamins. Let's have a closer and more detailed look at the nutritional values of this lovely dark green vegetable.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins like A, C, and K as well as minerals like calcium, icons, and floats are widely funded in Shanghai bok choy.
There are only 18 calories for 100g bok choy (equal to one head of the regular size). So it is a perfect food for controlling weight.
How to blanch Shanghai bok choy
Bok choy can be stir-fried with blanched or unblanched. I have posted bok choy stir-frying, that's two versions of unbalanced bok choy. This is a blanched version. Since the white part of bok Choy requires a long time to cook, we need to blanch the vegetables before frying. And we place the white part underneath and keep the green leaves on top possibly.
How to prepare bok choy for cooking
Watch the size of your bok choy and decide whether to half them or cut them into smaller pieces.
1. For choosing better bok choy, we should choose smaller ones rather than larger ones. You may wonder why? That’s because smaller ones are much more tender than larger ones.
2. You can separate each leave or cut from the center like me. If you choose the latter method for a better-looking finial dish, do remember to wash it under running water and guarantee there is no sand inside.
Quick Fry Bok Choy
- 8 oz bok Choy
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 dried chili pepper , optional
Stir fry sauce
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- ½ tsp. cornstarch
- 3 tbsp. water
- 1 tbsp. low sodium light soy sauce
- Wash the bok Choy and blanch in boiling water for around 2 minutes. Move out and drain. Make sure three is no extra water on the surface.
- In a small bowl, add oyster sauce, salt, cornstarch and water to make the stir-fry sauce.
- Heat up cooking oil and add chopped garlic and chili peppers into stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add blanched bok Choy to wok and stir-fry sauce. Do a quick stir fry. Transfer out and enjoy!
How to use Shanghai Bok Choy in cooking
Bok choy soup - cut bok choy into small pieces and add them to hot soups like bok choy soup with tofu, simple bok choy soup with pork, or even wonton soup and noodle soup.
Bok choy stem stir-fried with pork -the firmer stem can be cooked in stir-fried pork dishes just like other crunchy vegetables.
You can also add bok choy in a steamed rice. It is a shanghai stly dish named shanghai green rice.
In Chinese cooking, bok choy can be also pickled just like mustard green and it can be also used to cook rice in one pot. The famous Bok choy rice with pork comes from Shanghai. It provides a hint of freshness and makes a meal super easy and well-balanced.