If Loving Bok Choy is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right

I love bok choy.

I love it in stir fries, I love it in soups, I love it sauteed up with a little sesame oil. I don’t love it raw, but I love it lightly cooked so it’s crunchy and juicy and satisfying.

Yakisoba is one of the many ways I love to cook bok choy.

This recipe is a favorite at our house. My kids love it and just tear into it as soon as I put the bowl in front of them.

It’s yet another recipe that originates from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. I’ve made a few changes, including serving it over brown rice rather than soba noodles, using chicken broth/stock instead of water, and doubling it, but it’s essentially her recipe. If you’re avoiding gluten, be sure to get 100% buckwheat soba noodles (a little pricier than the regular ones) or substitute brown rice.

The version below is the doubled version. Cut in half if you’ve got a smaller family and/or don’t like leftovers.

Bok Choy and Buckwheat Noodles in Seasoned Broth (aka Yakisoba)

Reprinted (modified) fromΒ Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)Β www.cookusinterruptus.com

Prep time: about 30 minutes

Serves 8 (or 4 with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day)

Ingredients:

1 pound soba noodles, prepared according to package directions (or 1.5 cups brown rice cooked in 3 cups water)

4 T toasted sesame oil

1 large onion, cut into thin half-moons

4 to 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 to 4 carrots, cut into matchsticks

10 shiitake mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces

8 c water or broth (I use 4 c broth and 4 c water)

2/3 c tamari (wheat-free if you want this dish to be gluten-free)

1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 T freshly grated ginger

1 bunch bok choy, rinsed and chopped

4 scallions, sliced thin for garnish

Heat oil in a 4-quart pot. Add onion and garlic; saute over medium heat until onion begins to soften. Add carrot and mushroom pieces; saute a few minutes more. Add water, tamari, tofu, and ginger. Bring heat up until mixture begins to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add bok choy and simmer until leaves are bright green.

Serve this dish by placing a handful of noodles or scoop of rice in each serving dish. Ladle broth and vegetables over the noodles/rice. Garnish with scallions.

124 comments

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  4. brieana · April 4, 2011

    You should enter this into my competition I just started on my blog! I’m trying to create a collective cookbook from the blogging world’s foodies and would love it if the idea could hit it off! thanks for sharing! http://brieencroute.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/collective-cookbook-competition-call-for-recipes/

    Like

  5. leilovely17 · April 3, 2011

    Looks delicious. I’ve always liked bok Choy but never gave it the attention it deserves i see. But I think I will, this recipe you have looks yummy. I’m trying to cook different things everytime, and this seems perfect.

    Like

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  7. Kathryn Coulibaly · April 1, 2011

    I can’t wait to make this. Like you, I love bok choy, but you seem to have a lot more experience with it. I’m eager to make it part of my family’s regular meals.

    Thanks for the post!

    Kathy
    http://www.KidCulture.wordpress.com

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Thanks so much for your comment, Kathy! I hope your family likes this recipe as much as mine does!

      Like

  8. caramilk · April 1, 2011

    I love bok choy! It is my favourite choy of them all.. haha. It looks fairly easy to make, I will definitely give it a try.

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      I hope you like the recipe when you try it!

      Thank you for the comment!

      Like

  9. Trinity River · April 1, 2011

    Yumm! I love buckwheat noodles and bok choy. Will definately try this

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Thanks so much for your comment! I hope you enjoy it.

      Like

  10. Jacqueline · April 1, 2011

    Looks tasty! Love the title AND love bok choy!

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Thanks for your comment, Jacqueline!

      Like

  11. Jane · April 1, 2011

    I LOVE bok choy too, or any leafy green vegetable. We should all eat more of it!

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Agreed. I’m actually eating kale as I type. (no joke)

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Like

  12. Sendie-Lou · April 1, 2011

    Looks delish & easy! Thanks for sharing. And love the title too! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Thank you so much!

      Like

  13. KristenSays · April 1, 2011

    Love the title of this post! And of course now I have the song in my head. And for the record, my bunnies love bok choy. Does that count? πŸ™‚

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Oh, I definitely think it counts if your bunnies love bok choy. Do they sing the song about it?

      Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  14. urbannight · April 1, 2011

    One of my all time favorite ingredients. The taste is better than celery so I use it as a substitue in recipes. I do like cabbage but it also make a wonderful cabbage substitute. I love using it in soup because it is like two ingredients for the price of one. Celery-like stalks with green leafy tops. It looks wonderful in both soup and stir-fry. It really is a wonderful item.

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      I like to use fennel as a celery substitute. I’d never actually thought of using bok choy to sub for celery. I agree, bok choy is wonderful!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  15. emjayandthem · April 1, 2011

    Fun title and scrumptious looking post. Now I’m hungry for Bok Choy!! πŸ™‚ Cheers, MJ.

    Like

  16. Katie Gou · April 1, 2011

    Admittedly, I have never tried Bok Choy, what does it taste like? It looks like leek, I loooove leek! Especially in soup!

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      It doesn’t taste like leeks, at least not to me. Leeks taste kind of spicy to me. I find that bok choy tastes almost like a very, very mild radish. It’s a very mild taste for a leafy green. What I like most is the juicy crunch, though!

      Thanks for your comment, Katie!

      Like

  17. pinkunderbelly · April 1, 2011

    Yum! I want this for lunch today! Thanks for sharing. Have you tried just stir-frying baby bok choy in sesame oil and coating with a smidge of soy sauce? So delish.

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Oh, yes! That is our usual way of cooking bok choy. Just a quick stir-fry to heat it up and wilt the greens but keep that yummy crunch!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  18. creativeconfessions · April 1, 2011

    Bok Choy is an essential where I live, so I love it to! Thanks for the post!

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Convenient that you love it, then! I had a friend who grew up where it was essential and it left her despising it, even once she no longer had to eat it. I have trouble imagining disliking it that much, but perhaps if I ate it several times a day it might get old.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  19. tinkerbelle86 · April 1, 2011

    i love it but mine doesnt turn out looking as good as yours!

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Well, thank you for the compliment. I was surprised at just how pretty it was, too!

      Like

  20. bossbalita · April 1, 2011

    i love bok choy.. nutritious organic vegetables… thank for the recipe.. will try this coming week end..

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      I hope you like it! Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  21. richannkur · April 1, 2011

    It looks yummy!!!

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      We definitely like it! Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  22. ClayJTrue · April 1, 2011

    hahahaha i cant stand bok choy my mom makes it WAY too much xD

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Oh, I hope my kids don’t say that someday!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  23. mrthekidd · April 1, 2011

    Do you have a headline grabbing title generator? Can I borrow it? I too love bok choy and the reciepe looks delicous, I may need to try it on the fam. Congrats on FP’d πŸ™‚

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      No headline grabbing title generator, sorry. But I do have a rather goofy husband who’s always making random statements. I think that helps.

      Thanks for the congrats! If you try the recipe, I hope you and your family like it.

      Like

  24. I Made You A Mixtape · April 1, 2011

    I love bok choy because it does not lose its consistency when you cook it… so many othe rgreen become soggy…. or maybe that’s just my cooking skills…lol….fab recipe – I will try….

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      It definitely maintains its crunch. Other greens just kind of wilt.

      I hope you like the recipe when you cook it up. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  25. louisesmithers · April 1, 2011

    Delicious… Bok Choy represent!!

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      Ha! Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  26. mattabar · March 31, 2011

    nothing better than fresh green veg, i hate junk food so much

    Like

    • CJ · April 1, 2011

      While I agree about the fresh greens, I can’t say that I dislike junk food, unfortunately (just the way it makes me feel).

      Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  27. YouGetWellSoon · March 31, 2011

    Although I do not agree with you – I can easily live without Bok Choy, the title alone had me.
    Very cute!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Well, I think I could live without bok choy, but it would be an empty and flavorless life. (Not really. I think I’d be fine, actually, although I might miss it occasionally.)

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  28. savesprinkles1234 · March 31, 2011

    Yum! I love Bok Choy, as well. I’m going to give this recipe a try. Have a nice day!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I hope you enjoy the recipe (and that you have a great day, too!). Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  29. merediiith · March 31, 2011

    bok choy… or kale? mmm. kale.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Kale is an every-day green for me, too. I alternate it and chard in smoothies, and I make baked kale chips, and kale and blackeye peas, sauteed kale with pasta, kale in salads…

      For a gal who used to hate leafy greens, I’ve sure gone the other direction.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  30. capnstephel · March 31, 2011

    Bok Choy is SO good! Thanks for posting this recipe too! πŸ™‚

    http://tehcatspajamas.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      You’re welcome! And thanks for your comment. I like the happy toast.

      Like

  31. SunflowerHW · March 31, 2011

    Great post & congrats on being FP. I’m not exactly a fan of Bok Choy but I appreciate people who love vegetables and have great recipes. Many prayers for your husband to get a job. Thanks for spreading happiness.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thank you for the prayers and congratulations, SunflowerHW. I’m tickled to think that I’m spreading happiness!

      Like

  32. Yor Ryeter · March 31, 2011

    Tasted the best Bok Choy in Hong Kong πŸ™‚ Yum!

    Like

  33. Anastasia · March 31, 2011

    The recipe seems very simple, healthy and delicious: just the way I like it. Will try tomorrow!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I hope you like it, Anastasia! Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  34. Deanna · March 31, 2011

    I’m intrigued – I will try this one. I put Bok Choy in a thai pumpkin curry recipe, but otherwise don’t use it very much. I’m now thinking I’m missing out.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I hope you enjoy it. It’s one of our favorites. I’ve never tried it in curry, though. That could be interesting…

      Like

  35. carleennimrod · March 31, 2011

    Yummm!! My mouth is watering just thinking about the recipe…I’ll definitely give it a try.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for much for your comment!

      Like

  36. Spinny Liberal · March 31, 2011

    Ooh I love bok choy – especially in soups that I can pour over rice.

    Great title! Congratulations on being FP!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thanks for the congrats! Yes, this recipe is such a great, healthy comfort food! Nothing like a savory broth to soothe a weary spirit.

      Like

  37. J Roycroft · March 31, 2011

    Bok Choy Rocks!
    Congrats on FP.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thank you! And I agree…bok choy definitely rocks!

      Like

  38. zzyzxbryxx · March 31, 2011

    I use Bok Choy in my Vietnamese Beef Soup. I use the recipe found in Jillian Michaels’ cook book: Winning by Losing. I enjoy making it and it’s a relatively easy soup to make.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to check that recipe out.

      Like

  39. crashsuit · March 31, 2011

    I live near an H-Mart, they’ve got about ten or twelve kinds of choy. I love it raw or cooked, with hot or cold udon.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      There were lots of varieties of choy at the farmers market where we used to live in California. It was great to sample so many fresh and tasty greens. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  40. leadinglight · March 31, 2011

    I don’t mind bok choy but most of the time I’ve eaten them, they have been smothered in oil. Dumplings …

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      We’ve smothered ours from time to time, but mostly a light saute is what we go with. Well, and this soup. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  41. James Lee · March 31, 2011

    You know, I like bok choy a lot too. Specifically, I like the leafy part of it most, especially in noodle soups. But, it’s not my favorite Asian vegetable. I like ong choy better as a vegetable dish by itself, and even better than ong choy I like snow pea leaves.

    I wonder if there is an Asian superhero who gets strong eating ong choy like Popeye with his spinach. But then, as good as Asian vegetables are, I don’t think kids resist eating it as much as their American counterparts do.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      My kids definitely prefer bok choy to spinach, especially cooked. Do you think the plot of a superhero story requires that the hero resist eating it? Maybe the superhero loves it and it just happens to make her super-strong.

      I tried many different types of Asian greens when we used to go to the farmers market near our house in California, but I never knew what exactly it was I was eating. It was unfortunate when I found one I loved because it was difficult to get it again (not because it wasn’t there, but because we couldn’t remember week to week what it was we’d got. Except for bok choy).

      Thanks so much for the comment, James!

      Like

  42. Anonymous Me · March 31, 2011

    Wooooohooooo! Congrats on being FP’d!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, blog peeps!!! πŸ˜€

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thanks for celebrating with me, Anonymous Me! This may be the first time in my life the word “squee!” came to mind. I’m practically giddy!

      Like

  43. Nora Blithe · March 31, 2011

    Your title cracked me up so I had to check out your blog. I must confess, bok choy is one of the few foods I DON’T like. However, I used to hate broccoli and now I just have a mild dislike for it so there’s hope for bok choy in my future.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I was that way with cilantro. Despised it. And most greens, actually. It took years to warm to them. Have you tried baby bok choy? I find it milder than the “grown up” kind. Could be a starter choy for you.

      Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you liked the title!

      Like

  44. learningandyearning · March 31, 2011

    I’ve never had Bok Choy, but I may just try it now. To what would you compare the taste?

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      The leaves and stalks have a slightly different flavor. The whole thing is a pretty mild-tasting green. It has kind of mild radish edge to it, but not spicy, just a hint. I really like the crunch of the stalks, which reminds me of water chestnuts (not flavor-wise, but texture-wise. Maybe not quite as firm a crunch as a water chestnut). I don’t know if this helps at all…it’s kind of tough to describe a flavor. Thanks so much for your comment, and I hope you like bok choy if you try it!

      Like

  45. That looks so delicious – thank you for sharing!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thank you, and thanks for your comment!

      Like

  46. James R. Clawson · March 31, 2011

    This past week I learned that my son and his wife are vegan. When my wife and I first got married 4 of our children were vegetarian. Since then now only one is vegan I guess my question is , is this dish that you have on your blog vegan? Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, this recipe is vegan if you use vegetable broth or water. I usually use chicken broth, which, of course, isn’t vegan, but if you sub that out, there’s nothing else of animal origin in this recipe. If you (or your son and daughter-in-law) try this recipe, I hope you like it!

      Like

  47. corzgalore · March 31, 2011

    Hmm, I’ve never tried Bok Choy.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Well, I like it quite a bit. If you try it, I hope you like it!

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

      Like

  48. melancholiastudioinc · March 31, 2011

    This looks healthy and good tasting! Does it freeze well?

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I’ve never tried freezing it. I hear that freezing tofu gives it a firmer texture, but I’ve never frozen it myself. I’m not sure if the tofu would change in this recipe or not. And I think the bok choy wouldn’t be as crunchy after being frozen and thawed. If you try freezing it, let me know. That would be useful knowledge to have!

      Thanks for commenting!

      Like

      • melancholiastudioinc · April 1, 2011

        I’m sure the best way to eat it is fresh, not frozen, it just looks so terrific, it would be a shame to waste a single drop. I don’t know anything about canning and so forth, but such an excellent meal would be a pleasure to have handy on those no time to cook days! I’d probably eat it all and there wouldn’t be any left to freeze!

        Like

      • CJ · April 1, 2011

        I totally agree! Everything’s better fresh (except ice cream, I guess), but it’s great to have a quick, delicious, healthy meal on-hand. And you got me wondering what would happen to the tofu in this if it were frozen.

        Like

  49. beckyyk · March 31, 2011

    the title of this is funny :).

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thank you, beckyyk! And thanks for your comment!

      Like

  50. Dacia · March 31, 2011

    I love Bok Choy and cannot wait to try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy it when you try it!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  51. BREWPRINTS · March 31, 2011

    My mom used bok choy in a lot of meals when I was growing up. I’m anxious to try your recipe.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I hope you like it when you try it! The book it’s from is one of my favorites.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  52. roseconstruction · March 31, 2011

    Sounds good, I’ll try it. I always wondered what was up with bok choy.

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      I hope you like it! My husband worked with a woman from China who said she couldn’t stand bok choy because when she was a child, they always ate it constantly throughout the winter because it stored so well. But, not having those negative associations with bok choy, I can enjoy it thoroughly.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Like

  53. PCC Advantage · March 31, 2011

    I LOVE bok choy as well…thanks for the yummy recipe!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      You’re quite welcome! Thank you for your comment!

      Like

  54. Liiitza · March 31, 2011

    That looks delicious!!

    Like

    • CJ · March 31, 2011

      Thanks, Liiitza! And thanks for visiting!

      Like

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  56. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ · March 23, 2011

    I would enjoy working some Bok Choy into our repertoire and I know my family likes everything in this recipe (Bok Choy unknown) except that we have a mushroom sensitivity. Do you think I could leave it out or substitute something else you might recommend having made this?

    Like

    • CJ · March 23, 2011

      I think you could certainly leave out the mushroom. It’s a pretty tiny part of the recipe. We do make a stir fry with bok choy, carrots, and whatever other veggies we have on-hand. That’s one of our “staple” recipes, and I’ve never considered posting it, but with the popularity of this bok choy post, perhaps I’ll put that one up in the next weeks.

      Like

  57. Gabrielle Lorenzo · March 21, 2011

    I too am liking the title (and Bok Choy). Though I am a little disappointed that the opening paragraph didn’t turn into more of a “Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham”-ish diatribe like I was reading it in my head πŸ™‚

    Like

    • CJ · March 21, 2011

      I am sorry to disappoint you. We made a pork pot roast tonight that I’m considering blogging. Perhaps I’ll work on carrying the Seuss-esque style a little further for that one.

      Like

  58. renee · March 21, 2011

    I agree that the title is awesome! lol

    Like

  59. Heidi Lewis · March 21, 2011

    Yaki-Soba noodles from the asian market.

    Like

    • CJ · March 21, 2011

      I’m betting that’s an all-in-one type packaged food (with broth seasoning included). If you want to use it for this recipe, you could either leave out the packet and follow the recipe, or you could try using the packet and leaving out the broth seasonings (the tamari, etc). If you try it with the packet, I’d be curious how it tastes. I usually get Eden organic noodles…they’re the only ones I’ve found with 100% buckwheat (since I can’t tolerate wheat-wheat). But I like this recipe just as well with brown rice as with soba.

      Like

      • Heidi Lewis · March 22, 2011

        So, I added 2 of the 3 packets that came with the pound of soba noodles from the Asian Market and make the broth as you did. It was perfect!

        Like

      • CJ · March 22, 2011

        Good to know! I’ll have to see what’s in those seasoning packets.

        Like

      • Spectra · April 1, 2011

        Also, you called for Tamari- but you have to buy the Tamari that says ‘wheat free’, as even Tamari has wheat/gluten in it- I bloat horribly from the gluten in soy sauce, worse than even bread. Also, Braggs Liquid Amino’s is made to taste like soy sauce but has some sort of great nutritional value. πŸ™‚ Great Post, I love your title and photos. This sounds like something I’ll make. I think I saw Bok Choy plants for sale at Home Depot, if so, I will add itto my garden this year!!!

        Like

      • CJ · April 1, 2011

        Yes, I probably ought to specify wheat-free tamari if I’m going to tag a recipe GF. I guess I just don’t want people who can tolerate gluten to feel like they have to buy some special ingredient (beyond bok choy and tofu and shiitake mushrooms).

        We tried bok choy last year, but the temps get so high so fast where we live, the poor little guys bolted before they were big enough to pick. I ended up letting them go to seed. They look pretty cool when they go to seed.

        Thanks for your comment!

        Like

  60. Heidi Lewis · March 21, 2011

    When preparing the noodles, do you use the seasoning package you get with them?

    Like

    • CJ · March 21, 2011

      I have never gotten a seasoning package with soba noodles. So I would say, “No, don’t use it.” And I would also say, “Are you sure you have soba noodles?”

      Like

  61. thepetalpusher · March 21, 2011

    Nice post–the recipe looks easy and delicious. And I have to write this: I LOVE the title–made me laugh!!

    Like

    • CJ · March 21, 2011

      I’m so glad you liked the title! I’ve been working on pithier titles. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

    • chloe · March 31, 2011

      For one solid year all I ate was bok choy, steamed white rice and bean sprouts.

      I adore all things bok choy.

      I am going to try this awesome looking recipe!!!

      chloe

      Like

      • CJ · March 31, 2011

        Oh, I hope you like it, chloe! Thanks so much for your comment!

        Like

    • Fiona · April 1, 2011

      Agree! The title is so cute!

      Like

      • CJ · April 1, 2011

        Thank you, Fiona!

        Like

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