Bok Choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, hails from the cruciferous family and has a mild flavor, making it an able ally in dishes like stir-fries, side dishes, soups, and great even for raw consumption. The list of bok choy nutrition facts is pretty long and reason enough for you to make this vegetable a part of your daily diet. Bok choy joins the nutritious family of broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, as well as Brussels sprouts.
Chinese cabbage is actually a great way to obtain vitamin D, which helps in the ingestion of calcium and phosphorus. It also offers you adequate quantities of folate in addition to vitamin B6. Folate is particularly important for the optimum growth and development of cells and tissues, and helps decrease the chances of heart disease. Vitamin B6 is absolutely necessary for carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolic processes and helps to develop red blood cells along with antibodies.
Health Benefits of Bok Choy
If you are trying to lose weight or are trying to get back on track with a healthy way of living, you must definitely include bok choy in your diet along with other green veggies. It has tons of nutrition that can keep diseases at arm’s length and also help you maintain a balanced diet.
The health benefits of bok choy are as follows:
- It helps prevent cancer- All the cruciferous vegetables are great cancer fighters. It is mainly because of the glucosinolates these types of vegetables contain that make them a potent powerhouse of disease fighters. The rich beta-carotene content helps to not only prevent cancer but also reduce the damage caused by the proliferation of cancer cells.
- It gives a boost to digestive health- Bok choy helps add more fiber to the diet. The bulk added to your food helps in proper elimination of waste, thus reducing toxic build Most doctors are of the opinion that constipation is the underlying cause of most diseases, and bok choy helps you avoid that.
- Boosts eye health- The rich beta-carotene content in bok choy helps prevent degenerative eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Including more bok choy in your diet can boost your eye health to a great extent.
- It helps combat hypertension- Since bok choy is a rich source of calcium, sodium and phosphorous, it helps in reducing your blood pressure levels. So you should definitely think of adding some hearty healthy bok choy recipes to your diet to reap the benefits of this leafy green vegetable.
- Lose weight – The constant battle with cravings and then capitulation to cravings is what undermines your weight loss efforts. Those never-ending gnawing hunger pangs can be annoying,so adding something full of fiber to your diet can make you stay full for that much longer. You are less likely to binge on a full stomach. It does not cause a dent on your total calorie consumption either. One more great reason to go nom-nom on bok choy.
- Aids your health during pregnancy- The chinese cabbage benefits do not stop here. Pregnant or lactating women can benefit from consuming bok choy as it is full of folic acid. Folic acid is one of the nutrients which is a must have for a pregnant woman.
- Boost your immunity- Since bok choy is full of vitamin C, it acts as a defense mechanism to safeguard the body from infiltrators like infections and diseases.
- Great for bone health- Both vitamin K and calcium are great for bone health. A cup of bok choy provides about 16% of thedaily requirement of calcium and 64% of vitamin K. Calcium is great for muscle and nerve function whereas vitamin K protects you from bleeding problems. Having this vegetable with a vitamin D supplement can help your body to assimilate calcium better.
- Full of antioxidants- As it is full of vitamin C and vitamin A, it is brimming with antioxidants, and it can help your body lock horns with free radicals, thus protecting your body from diseases and aging.
Recipes of Bok Choy
Bok choy comes in varied species; in fact, you will be spoilt for choice at your nearby farmers market. But you need to be careful while selecting just the right kind of bok choy; look for firm stalks and dark green, crisp leaves. Don’t buy those that are wilted or soft. Bok choy can be stored, dry, in your refrigerator for several days. To prepare, trim off the base and snip off any discolored leaves. Separate the stalks and wash them under cold running water. Cook the stalks and leaves separately as the stalks take a little longer to cook. Bok choy should not be over-cooked as they then lose most of their nutrients. Take a look at these bok choy recipes and be inspired enough to make some of your own. Bon appetit!
Spicy Bok Choy
This recipe is not your typical fare in salads. It is spicy, tangy and melts in your mouth with ease. If you like your food to be spicy, well you can easily cook this as it is one of the tastier bok choy recipe ideas.
- 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 heads bok choy, diced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 green chili
- 1/8 tsp. hing or asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Start adding the spices and the green chilly and stir until the mustard and cumin seeds pop. Once the spices are popping, add the onions. Wait till the onions get caramelized. Add the bok choy, and cook until it has cooked down. Once it is caramelized, it is done and ready to eat.
Egg Bok Choy
Adding egg to this recipe adds a different kind of taste to your dish. It’s a good balance of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- 1-Bok Choy
- 1-Onion ( finely chopped)
- 2 or 3 Green Chilies (minced)
- 1/4 tsp. Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. Urad dal
- Salt – to taste
- 6 -Curry leaves
- 1 tbsp- oil
Separate the stalks of the bok choy and wash each stalk thoroughly. Chop both the stalk and the leaves finely. Heat the oil in a pan, splutter some mustard seeds and curry leaves, and Urad dal. Sauté’ the chopped onions and green chilies for a minute and then add the chopped bok choy. Add salt and let it cook uncovered for about 7-8 minutes until the vegetable becomes tender. It is a very watery vegetable so wait till the water is released completely. Add the egg now and mix everything together. Keep mixing for another 1 or 2 minutes until the egg is cooked. Serve with rice or roti.
Bok Choy with Lentils
This is a very nutritious dish as it has the vitamin enriched bok choy along with lentils so it ups the protein content of the dish considerably. You can cook it in two ways and each recipe is as tasty as the other.
- 1 cup (you can use any type of dal or a mix of dals) – dal or lentil
- 1 cup chopped (you can use your choice of vegetables like squashes, raw
- mango, leafy vegetables etc.)- vegetables
- Onion – 1/2 (chopped)
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Green Chilies – 2 (chopped)
- Tomato – 1 / Lemon juice – 2 Tbsp / Tamarind – blueberry size
- Oil – 2 Tbsp
- Dry red chilies – 2
- Salt – to taste
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp.
- Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp.
- Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp.
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Cilantro – handful finely chopped
- Ghee/ Butter – 1 Tbsp
Cook the dal in a pressure cooker along with the vegetable, onions, turmeric powder, green chilies, salt, and tomato. To lend a tangy taste to the dish, you can use tomatoes, and also use little tamarind juice or lime juice. Cook everything together with enough water for 2 whistles. After the pressure comes down, open the cooker and add the tank.
The normal ratio of water for a thick dal is 1:3 i.e. 3 cups of water for 1 cup of dal. If you want a thinner dal, increase the amount of water.
For tadka: Heat oil in a pan; add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds till they splutter. Add dry red chilies, asafoetida, curry leaves and finely chopped garlic cloves. Cook on low flame till the garlic is cooked. Add the tank on top of the dal for flavor and as a nice garnish. Add finely chopped cilantro and add a dollop of ghee/butter on top before serving. Serve it either with rice or roti.
Pressure cook the dal until it is nicely cooked but not completely mushy for about 2 whistles and keep aside. Traditionally Toor dal is used. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilies. Add asafoetida and turmeric powder to this. Next, add finely chopped garlic cloves and sauté’ it on low flame till it turns brown. Then, add the onions and sauté for a while. Next, fry the vegetable that you have used and sauté for a minute. Add water to cover the vegetables and add the dal. Add some chopped tomatoes, little tamarind juice or little lemon juice for some sourness. Add required amount of salt and let it cook for 10 minutes till all the flavor blends. Add water as needed to your desired thickness. Top it off with finely chopped coriander leaves and a dollop of ghee and serve with rice or chapati.
Bok Choy Curry
Another spicy curry to add to your list and reap Chinese cabbage benefits, a perfect antidote to cold winter evenings. Cook it up and enjoy its comforting taste.
- 2 bok choy, washed, feet removed, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 brown onions, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. ginger peeled, finely grated
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 cup coriander, chopped
- 3-4 lemon wedges
- Chili flakes
- 1 cans coconut cream 400 ml
Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add the chilies, ginger, onion and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute then add the cumin powder, turmeric, and fennel seeds. Add the bok choy and toss with tongs until it becomes tender, then add coriander and salt. Cook it slowly until it bubbles and mix the coconut cream. Stir and continue cooking for 10 more minutes until a thick liquid reduces.
Squeeze lemon wedges over the dish and serve with rice, lentils, chickpeas or even whole grain pasta.
Bok Choy and Red Cabbage Salad
This recipe is sure to turn you into a bok choy convert since it is a combination of Chinese flavor and the crunchiness of a salad. Think it’s an odd combination? You won’t after you take a generous bite of it!
- 2 heads of bok choy, chopped into ½” pieces
- 3 cups of thin-sliced red cabbage
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 6 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 4 cloves of garlic [minced]
- ⅔ Cup of white wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp. raw honey
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 tbsp. tamari soy sauce
Wash the bok choy and cabbage and prepare as instructed above. Combine the bok choy, cabbage, and sesame seeds in a large bowl and toss together to combine. Combine ingredients for the dressing in a high-speed blender and blend until the consistency is creamy and thickened. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is well-coated. Serve in bowls or on plates and enjoy!
If you are really fond of cruciferous vegetables and well acquainted with their numerous benefits, then it is time to introduce yourself to the nutrient-rich bok choy. These healthy bok choy recipes are a simple yet effective way to get the best out of this nutritive and wholesome vegetable.