Cultivated in China for centuries, bok choy has played a large part not only in its cuisine, but in traditional Chinese medicine. Today, it’s a staple in both Asian and American recipes.
A deep green leafy vegetable that resembles Romaine lettuce on top and a large celery on the bottom, bok choy is a crucifer more closely related to cabbage. The entire vegetable can be used, and is often added raw to salads for a satisfying crunch. In soups, the leaves and stalks should be chopped and added separately, since the stalks take longer to cook.
Bok choy can also be steamed or boiled, but the stir fry method of cooking seems to release the best flavors. Kimchee is the Korean name for pickled bok choy. When shredded, it makes great coleslaw. An alternate take: try bok choy sautéed with ginger and garlic. All these are ideal methods of preparation for a ready-made food that also happens to be loaded with life-giving nutrients.
Health Benefits of Bok Choy
Containing a wealth of vitamins C, A, and K, and excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron, bok choy deserves its reputation as a powerhouse among vegetables. Vitamin A, for instance, is essential for a properly functioning immune system, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that shields the body from free radicals. Bok choy supplies potassium for healthy muscle and nerve function, and vitamin B6 for carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
Growing Bok Choy in Containers / Terrace Garden
Growing bok choy is very easy. Like most Brassicas, it is propagated from seeds and readily germinate in a weeks time. The seeds are sown in a seed starting mix made by using straight cocopeat or cocopeat and compost in equal proportions. Sow the seeds at the rate of 2 per cell and water it lightly and cover the tray with a polythene. Periodically check for new growth. In about 4 days they will start emerging. Once you see a sign of new growth, remove the polythene bag and keep the tray where it will get good sunlight.
Bok choy can be planted in place that receives moderate sunlight. Though they prefer full sun, they do well in moderate light as well.
Bok choy is consumed as a leafy vegetable and it needs a good dose of nitrogen rich fertilizer for a good healthy growth. A fertilizer that has high nitrogen is recommended for healthy green leaves. One can also use seed meals such as neem cake, pongamia cake, Purna Nutrich etc as manures. These manures act as a fertilizer and repel pests as well.
Bok choy are ready for harvest just in 40-45 days. Either you can keep taking the leaves in the outer side or uproot the whole plant.
You can get naturally treated Bok Choy seeds at TheOrganic.Life .
Bok Choy Healthy Recipe: Stir-Fried Sesame Bok Choy
- 1 tsp. sesame oil (dark)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 1/2 lbs. baby bok choy, carefully cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup veggie broth
- 2 Tbsp. naturally fermented soy sauce
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. flour
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Heat a large skillet or wok to med-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add in the garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
- Add in the bok choy; cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, soy sauce, sugar or honey, and flour; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thickened.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.