This Stir Fried Bok Choy is seasoned with fresh garlic, sweet ginger, toasted sesame oil and makes a super flavorful and healthy side dish! It’s a staple of Chinese cuisine that’s easy to make in minutes. Naturally vegan, gluten-free, low carb, paleo, keto and Whole30 compliant.
A Classic Chinese Bok Choy Stir-Fry
Looking for a tasty and easy side dish? This Stir Fried Bok Choy takes less than 15 minutes to make and is perfect for busy weeknights. Stir-frying is a quick and easy cooking method that originated in China and has since spread across the entire world. It involves frying fresh ingredients in a wok while stirring frequently. When vegetables are stir-fried, they require minimal oil, develop a perfectly tender-crisp texture and retain more nutrients than they would if they were boiled.
On top of that, stir-frying is a guaranteed way to cook up your veggies with more flavor than ever before. This recipe keeps things simple with a pound of baby bok choy and a combination of classic Chinese seasonings. If you’d like, you can dress it up with your favorite protein, extra veggies and additional flavorings of your choice!
The best part is, this easy side dish is perfect for buys weeknights or any Chinese Lunar New Year feast! And this recipe is also vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb, keto, paleo and Whole30 compliant for all your guests with any dietary needs.
What is Bok Choy?
Bok choy is a variety of white cabbage that was first cultivated in China in the 5th century AD. It tastes like cabbage, but it has a celery-like crunch to it. Bok choy is a key ingredient in many traditional dishes, and it also has a history of serving as a natural remedy for colds and stomachaches.
This versatile vegetable has obtained superfood status thanks to its low calorie content and high concentration of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. Our stir-fry uses baby bok choy, which is harvested sooner and has a slightly sweeter flavor than its full-sized counterpart.
What Part of Bok Choy Do You Eat?
There are two different elements of bok choy – the white core at the base and the leafy greens on top. Both parts taste equally amazing! The cores provide that juicy crunch, while the leaves are soft and crisp. While some dishes call for just the leaves, you definitely want to leave the cores intact for this stir-fry.
Let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need to make the best stir-fried bok choy. Feel free to incorporate any add-ins you’re craving to adjust the flavor profile or transform it from a side dish to a meal!
- Baby Bok Choy: Washed, dried and cut into quarters or halves.
- Avocado Oil: Or any other neutral-tasting oil.
- Garlic: Freshly minced.
- Ginger: Freshly Grated.
- Coconut Aminos: If you’re not paleo or Whole30, you can use gluten-free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce instead.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: For a wonderfully nutty flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: For the best results, use fine-grain sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Sesame Seeds: To garnish the stir-fry.
- Red Chili Flakes: Use these as an additional garnish for a kick of heat if desired.
How to Make Stir-Fried Bok Choy
Just like every good stir-fry, this dish is fast and simple. Grab your wok and let’s get cooking!
- Heat Oil: Heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s just smoking.
- Add Ginger: Add the ginger and sauté while stirring frequently for 10 seconds, until it becomes fragrant and starts to turn golden.
- Add Garlic: Add the garlic and continue stirring for 4 seconds, until it’s fragrant and just golden, being careful not to let it burn.
- Quickly Add Bok Choy & Coconut Aminos: Quickly add in the bok choy and the coconut aminos, and use tongs or a wok spatula to swiftly toss until everything is evenly distributed and well coated.
- Cook Covered: Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of water, then cover the wok with a lid and cook for 1 minute.
- Add Sesame Oil: Remove the lid and add the sesame oil.
- Season & Continue Cooking: Season the stir fry with salt and pepper and use the tongs to toss the bok choy. Cook while tossing for 1 more minute, or until the cabbage is tender-crisp.
- Remove From Heat: Once the bok choy is cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove your stir-fry from the stove and transfer it to a plate.
- Garnish & Serve: Garnish the dish with sesame seeds and red chili flakes, if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Read through this list of tips before you fire up your wok or skillet. Everything cooks quickly, so it’s helpful to have all of the information you need from the get-go.
- Should I Cut Halves or Quarters? Whether you cut your baby bok choy into halves or quarters is completely up to you. I usually go for quarters unless the cabbage is particularly small.
- Rinse and Dry the Bok Choy Well: Rinsing off fresh vegetables is a must – it removes any harmful surface bacteria that may be present. Once you rinse your bok choy, dry it off well to avoid adding excess moisture to the stir-fry.
- Don’t Stop Stirring: In order for everything to cook properly and evenly, you have to stir frequently throughout the cooking process. Aside from the minute when your wok is covered, you should be stirring or tossing as indicated in the recipe.
- How Can I Tell When Bok Choy is Done? I like to fry my bok choy until the cores can be pierced with a fork, but you can cook them to whatever consistency you prefer. For crunchier bok choy, remove the stir-fry from the heat sooner. For a softer texture, let it cook for longer.
There are tons of different routes you can take when it comes to serving up your stir-fried bok choy. Just have fun with it!
- Serve Over Rice or Lo Mein: Feel free to use your stir-fry as a topping for rice or lo mein noodles. We like to mix it into our lo mein along with a splash of chili sauce!
- Pair with Chinese Lemon Chicken: This healthier-than-takeout Lemon Chicken is easy to whip up in your pressure cooker. Tender chicken is coated in a crispy crust and simmered to perfection with a tangy homemade lemon sauce.
- Make it a Meal: You can easily turn this side dish into a main course by adding in some extra protein. Shrimp, pork, tofu, beef—use whatever you have lying around in the fridge!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Once cooled, extra bok choy stir-fry should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy it within 3 days of making it. To reheat it, warm it up over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it’s warmed through.
Can I Freeze Stir-Fried Bok Choy?
Yes, stir-fried bok choy can be stored in the freezer for 4-6 months. Keep it in a sturdy freezer-safe container with an airtight lid for the best results. Thaw out frozen bok choy in the fridge before reheating it.
More Easy Chinese Side Dishes
Loving this traditional Chinese stir-fry? Be sure to check out the yummy side dishes featured below!
This Stir-Fried Bok Choy is seasoned with fresh garlic, sweet ginger, toasted sesame oil and makes a super flavorful and healthy side dish! It's a staple of Chinese cuisine that's easy to make in minutes. Vegan, gluten-free, low carb, keto, paleo and Whole30 compliant.
- 1 lb baby bok choy , washed, dried and cut into quarters or halves, with core intact
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 tsp ginger , freshly grated
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos , (may sub with gluten-free tamari or low-sodium soy sauce if not paleo/Whole30)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp Trader Joe's umami mushroom seasoning or any mushroom seasoning. Omit or sub with Oyster Sauce (vegan or regular) or your favorite seasoning.
- fine-grain sea salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- sesame seeds for garnish
- red chili flakes optional, for garnish
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
Add ginger and sauté while stirring frequently for 10 seconds, until ginger is fragrant and starts to turn golden.
Add garlic and continue stirring for 4 seconds, until fragrant and just golden, being careful not to let it burn.
Quickly add bok choy and coconut aminos, and use tongs or a wok spatula to swiftly toss until everything is evenly distributed and well coated.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of water, then cover wok with a lid and cook for 1 minute.
Remove lid and add sesame oil. Season with mushroom seasoning, salt and pepper and use the tongs to toss the bok choy. Cook while tossing for 1 more minute, or until bok choy is tender-crisp.
Once bok choy is cooked to your desired doneness, remove your stir-fry from the stove and transfer it to a plate. Garnish with sesame seeds and red chili flakes, if desired. Serve warm.
- To Store & Reheat: Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy within 3 days. Warm over a medium-low burner, stirring constantly until heated through.
- To Freeze: Freeze cooled bok choy in a sturdy freezer-safe container with an airtight lid for 4-6 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.