Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable rich in antioxidants. Its dark green leaves contain much more beta-carotene and calcium than white cabbage.
In addition to vitamins A and C, bok choy is a great source of phytonutrients known as glucosinolates – sulfur-containing compounds that may be involved in the destruction of cancer-causing chemicals. In Chinese medicine bok choy is considered a cooling food.
- 1.5 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- 1 large head of bok choy, or 4-5 smaller heads (sometimes called “pac choi”)
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of roasted sesame oil (dark)
- 2 teaspoons of gluten free tamari sauce
- 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
Place the sesame seeds in a large skillet over medium heat stirring occasionally to brown or toast them. Once they are toasted set them aside in a glass dish.
Clean the bok choy first by cutting the base away from the rest of the stalk or stalks. Rinse each leaf separately removing any sand or dirt that may linger at its base. Chop the white stems away from the leaves; keeping stems and leaves separate; cut both the white stems and the green leaves into bite-sized pieces. These will be added to the pan separately.
Add the olive oil to the pan and turn the heat to high. When the oil heats such that it is uncomfortable to hold your open hand over the pan, begin adding the white stems and cook over high heat for 30 seconds, stirring to avoid sticking. Add the leaves and continue to stir fry, stirring to ensure there is no sticking for another 30 seconds. Lower the heat to medium and place a lid on the pan for about 30 seconds allowing the greens to steam.
Remove lid and continue cooking 2 minutes until leaves are bright green. Place the cooked bok choy greens in a bowl and add sesame oil, tamari and vinegar and stir, then top with toasted sesame seeds and serve.
When shopping for bok choy, look for whole, vibrant greens that show no signs of browning or blemishes. Store in the refrigerator in an unsealed bag, or in a sealed bag perforated with tiny with air holes. Bok choy does not keep as well as cabbage so plan to use it within a day or two of buying. Enjoy!
This recipe is based on a recipe found in Greens, Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers. Read more about bok choy’s healing properties in The New Encyclopedia of Whole Foods by Rebecca Wood, Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul PItchford, and at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute.