Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bok Choy Challenge

Listen up Boy-Choy-Baffled, Chinese-Cabbage-Lover, or simply Stuck-in-a-Rut. Have I got a recipe for you!

On demand, I have researched, wrestled, tested, and tamed this crunchy green! So thanks for the challenge Christy. And I do mean challenge. Not that Bok Choy is terribly difficult, I've just had a bad experience.

In my younger days, I used to love browsing recipes and getting inspiration from pictures of food. The problem? In my naiveté, I believed I was better than the recipe. I wasn’t. Little did I know that Baby Bok Choy is not the same as it’s full grown counterpart, aka: Big Mama Bok Choy.

Big Mama Bok has a tough stalk that cooks much slower than the greens – whole leaf cooking is not really an option. However, when the stalk is removed and braised (sautéed with a bit of liquid) ‘til tender you can add the greens, cook for a few minutes more and you are done.

Using this method, Garlic Lime Bok Bok B’gok Choy was born (think bok bok b’gok like a chicken). Even if you don’t like the name, you’ll love this fresh spin on an easy-to-grow, home-garden-staple.

Garlic Lime Bok Bok B’Gok Choy
(Dedicated to Cook Christy. Thank you for restoring my belief in Bok Choy)

3 Chicken Breasts
1 large head Bok Choy
1 cup Chicken Broth (you can substitute water)
1 lime, zest and juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp sugar (or 1 ½ tbsp Agave nectar)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp kosher salt (optional)
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lime, garnish (optional)

1. Toast sesame seeds over medium high heat in a large wok or saute pan. Shake pan to keep seeds moving so they don’t burn. As soon as seeds begin to brown (3-5 minutes), remove from pan and set aside.
2. Remove stalks from Bok Choy. Layer leaves in a pile and cut into ½ inch strips, then cut down center, set aside. Chop stalks into ½ pieces.

3. Add canola oil to pan and heat over high until oil ripples. Add stalks stirring in pan to coat with oil. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and zest of one lime, stir. Add broth. Cook until almost tender (7 – 10 minutes).
4. Add chicken and continue to cook, moving mixture around in the pan, until chicken is cooked through and bok choy is tender but not mushy (3 – 6 minutes).
Toss leaves with cornstarch and add to pan. Squeeze lime over the leaves fold in with chicken and stalk mixture just until leaves are wilted and tender. Remove mixture from heat. Add sesames and drizzle with sesame oil. Place on a serving plate or bowl and garnish with lime wedges or slices. Serve by itself or with steamed brown rice.
Serves 4


  1. Can't wait to try it!
    Tonight we had grilled flatbread with fresh tomato, basil, brie, and olive oil. I did roast a garlic and squeezed it out over the pizza. I'm not sure if I liked it with the brie. I also sprinkled some tomato basil feta on top for some more flavor.

  2. there is a salad at the Alaska brew house down town in anchorage that has Bok choy in it.. its awesome! if you ever go there and have it can you figure out the recipe and send it to me..
    Thanks.. im loving your blog site!

  3. Next time I'm in Anchorage I'll check it out. Meanwhile, I think I'm going to try an Asian Slaw using Bok Choy instead of the common head of green or red cabbage. After all, Bok Choy is in the cabbage family!

    And Christy, I've never put brie with tomato and basil before. I'm usually preocuppied with feta or mozzerella. Are you tellin' me to skip the brie combo?