Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Garlic can be made in about 15 minutes, and it’s an amazing side dish for almost anything. It’s healthy, fresh and packed with delectable flavors.
Bok Coy (also called Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy) is a staple ingredient in Asian cooking. It’s as quick to cook as spinach and it has a mild and refreshing flavor.
When cooked, the stems remain somewhat crisp, while the leaves wilt into a beautiful soft texture that can soak up all sorts of delicious flavors.
This Baby Bok Choy with Garlic is made with just a few basic ingredients, yet it packs in a ton of flavor.
What You’ll Need
- baby bok choy – Choose bok choy that’s compact and firm, without brown spots. The leaves should look fresh without any signs of wilting.
- toasted sesame oil – Toasted sesame oil adds a deeper flavor than regular sesame oil.
- grapeseed oil
- garlic – Look for firm heads of garlic without any soft spots or green shoots, which is an indication of old garlic. (Raw garlic cloves should be firm without any dark spots.)
- salt – I cook with Kosher salt. (It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavor without making them taste salty.)
- black pepper – Freshly ground is best.
- Togarashi – Togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that typically includes red chili pepper, black pepper, sesame seeds, dried orange peel, seaweed flakes and ginger. This adds a touch of heat and is optional.
How to Make Baby Bok Choy with Garlic
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
– Wash, dry and slice the baby bok choy in half, lengthwise. Drizzle them with sesame oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
– Peel and thinly slice the garlic.
– Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with grapeseed oil, place it over medium heat and add the garlic slices.– Sauté until they are just turning golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.– Add the bok choy to the pan and cook until some of it is golden and all of the leaves have wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, mix in the garlic and sprinkle with Togarashi.
- To keep it vegan, but make the meal a bit heartier, you can mix in tofu. Tangerine Grilled Tofu or Miso Garlic Ginger Tofu would both be excellent.
- Served as a side dish, it’s lovely with fish, chicken, pork or steak. It’s delicious with Asian Pear Marinated Steak.
- I love this baby bok choy with garlic simply over rice. It becomes a really satisfying vegan entrée.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Be sure to get the water inside the bottom of the stalks when you’re cleaning the bok choy. Even if the leaves look clean, very often that’s where dirt collects. This can be tricky when you want to keep the stalks together, but it’s better for it to be clean, than intact.
- It’s nice to keep each half of the bok choy intact for cooking — however, if it’s not a tight bundle, the leaves will likely come apart, which it totally okay.
- Some of the bok choy heads might be small enough that you won’t want to cut them in half. This is your call.
- Grapeseed oil is a neutral oil so it won’t interfere with the other flavors. You can substitute vegetable oil if you don’t have it.
- If the amount of garlic is more than you’d like, reduce it to the amount you’re comfortable with.
- For a more subtle and sweet flavor from the garlic, you can use roasted garlic, which you can sauté briefly and keep in when you add the bok choy to the pan.
Can you make it ahead?
- While the leftovers will still be super tasty, baby bok choy with crispy garlic is best when served as close to the cooking time as possible.
- I often make it about thirty minutes before I’m serving. I keep it in the pan on the stove, then, when I’m ready to serve, I turn the heat back on for less than a minute to heat it. (It’s also delicious at room temperature.)
I hope you love this flavor-packed, light and healthy bok choy recipe!
More Baby Bok Choy recipes:
Baby Bok Choy with Garlic Recipe
- 1 pound baby Bok Choy
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- grapeseed oil for the pan
- ½ cup garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Togarashi for garnish (if desired) *
- Prepare the baby bok choy. Wash and dry the bok choy. Then cut off about ¼-inch from the root end, and slice it in half, lengthwise. Place them on a sheet pan and drizzle them with the sesame oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cook garlic. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with grapeseed oil and place it over medium-high heat. Add the garlic slices and sauté until they are just turning golden brown, about 2 minutes or so. Spoon the garlic into a bowl and set aside.
- Cook baby bok choy. Add the bok choy to the pan and cook until some of it is golden and all of it has wilted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's how.) Mix in the crispy garlic and sprinkle with Togarashi (if desired) -- it adds a bit of heat.
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