Also known as Chinese white cabbage, bok choy is a leafy green vegetable with a long list of impressive health benefits, and a mild flavor that makes it perfect for a wide range of uses in the kitchen— you can use it to make salads and coleslaw, add it to soups, or, even juice it raw with other leafy greens.
Bok choy is the number one vegetable in China (in contrast to the US, where broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the most commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables), but it's also a favorite in other Asian cuisines, such as Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Thai.
If you're craving bok choy's crunchy goodness with an Oriental twist, then here's the perfect recipe for you…
Did You Know?
- Bok choy, also known as Chinese white cabbage, is a leafy green vegetable with a long list of impressive health benefits, and a mild flavor that makes it perfect for a wide range of uses in the kitchen
- This vegetable is loaded with vitamins C and K, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and dietary fiber, but with only 20 calories per cup. It also has anti-inflammatory nutrients like anthocyanins, thiocyanate, and indole-3-carbinol (I3C)
- When buying bok choy, look for firm stalks and dark-green, crisp leaves, and avoid those that are wilted or soft. You can store bok choy in your refrigerator for several days
- If you’re craving bok choy’s crunchy goodness with an Oriental twist, try this simple stir-fry recipe
- 6 heads baby bok choy
- 1½ tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons tamari soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin*
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 scallions
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Note: Have all ingredients ready as the stir frying is rather quick.
- Remove the bottoms from the bok choy heads. Separate the leaves and cut across into small pieces, keeping stems and leaves separate.
- Mix together the vinegar, tamari, mirin, honey, and toasted sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside.
- Over high heat, warm the sauté pan or wok, add the coconut oil, making sure it covers the pan. Add the bok choy, red pepper flakes, scallions, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add sauce mixture and cook for about 1 minute, until mixture thickens. Add bok choy leaves and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Place the bok choy in a serving bowl, add a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes 4 servings.
*Can be found in the Asian food aisle at the grocery store or in an Asian market.
(From Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)
Why Is Ginger Baby Bok Choy Good for You?
Bok choy is loaded with vitamins C and K, beta-carotene, vitamin A1 (higher than any other cabbage variety), and dietary fiber, but only has 20 calories per cup – it's no surprise that bok choy has made it into my most highly recommended vegetables list. If you're trying to lose weight, this is one of the best foods you can add to your meals.
Bok choy contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients that can keep inflammation at bay. It has anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol, and thiocyanate, an antioxidant that can protect cells from inflammatory substances made in response to an injury or infection in your body. Thiocyanate, according to researchers, may even hold clues to treating serious inflammatory disorders like diabetes, heart disease, and cystic fibrosis.2
Another beneficial antioxidant phytocompound found in bok choy is called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which also has anti-inflammatory effects that operate on a genetic level, and may help prevent inflammatory responses at the early stages of disease development. I3C has also been found to halt the cell cycle in breast cancer cells without actually killing the cells.3
Other health benefits of eating bok choy include:
- Better bone health. A cup of bok choy has about 26 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K1, which is known for its role in blood clotting and bone metabolism.4
- Reduced risk of brain shrinkage. The healthy amounts of B vitamins in bok choy can help slow down brain shrinkage by as much as seven-fold5 in regions that are specifically impacted by Alzheimer's disease.
- Support for your heart health. Scientists believe that sulforaphane in bok choy can help improve DNA methylation,6 which is essential for normal cellular function and proper gene expression, particularly for the endothelium, the inner lining of the arteries that becomes easily damaged.
Another superstar ingredient in this recipe is ginger, which, in my opinion, is one of the most phenomenal spices you can add to your meals. Ginger is a rich source of antioxidants like gingerols, shogaols, zingerones, and more. In fact, it has over 40 pharmacological actions, such as broad-spectrum antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties.
I actually recommend ginger for its anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an effective pain reliever that may rival non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). For more about ginger's health benefits, read my previous article, "Ginger's Many Evidence-Based Health Benefits Revealed."
Sources and References
Tags: Dairy-Free, Fruits and Vegetables, Side Dishes