I had a special request from a friend who loves baby bok choy and wanted to learn how to make it. Growing up in a Chinese household, I take for granted that I sort of learned how to make this just by lurking around the kitchen during dinner time. Some variation of greens stir-fried in garlic was a weekly almost daily staple – delicious, inexpensive, healthy, and fast. All my fave things rolled into one little dish.
The most important thing about prepping this dish is to wash the vegetables thoroughly. I mean like a zillion times in a big bowl of water, dunk these leaves around, swirl, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat. I cut the larger ones in half lengthwise before washing to really allow the grit to come out. Nothing will ruin this dish more than biting into a hunk of dirt.
The second important thing to remember when cooking these greens is the massive shrinkage aka the shrinkage factor. Once cooked, these veggies shrink down to almost one-third of the original size so don’t be afraid to cook a seemingly massive amount. Besides, these have almost no calories so you can indulge in big portions without piling on the pounds.
The steaming action helps cook the veggies super fast. See how much it shrinks? Like after George Costanza goes swimming on the classic Seinfeld episode (see here around the 1:45 minute mark). Significant shrinkage. The shrinkage factor. It also applies to leafy green vegetables after stir frying.
Baby Bok Choy with Garlic
- 3 cups baby bok choy (washed thoroughly and trimmed)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp canola (grapeseed or vegetable oil)
- pinch salt
- Gluten free tamari soy sauce (optional)
- Heat a non-stick wok on medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until warm but not smoking. Add the garlic and let sizzle until fragrant but not browned or burnt. Add the vegetables and toss to coat, about 2 minutes.
- Add about 1/4 cup of water and cover with a lid to let steam for about 2 minutes, until vegetables are cooked and wilted down. Remove lid, remove from heat, and add salt to taste. Serve with rice, hot sauce, and gluten free soy sauce (optional).