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

  1. 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

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    1. 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!

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

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    1. 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

    1. 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!

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    1. 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!

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  5. 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™‚

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    1. 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.

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    1. 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

    1. 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!

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    1. 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

    1. 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

  6. 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.

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  7. 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.

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

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  8. 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.

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    1. 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!

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    1. 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

  9. 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.

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    1. 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

    1. 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

  10. 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.

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    1. 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

    1. 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

  11. 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!

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    1. 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

    1. 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

      1. 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!

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      2. 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.

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    1. 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

  12. 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?

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    1. 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

  13. 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™‚

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    1. 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.

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    1. 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.

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      1. 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!

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      2. 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!!!

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      3. 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!

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    1. 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?”

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    1. 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

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