If you’re looking for a tasty vegetable for stir-fries, grilling, or salads, try pak choi (also known as bok choy).

There are many types of these Asian cabbages – dwarf, flowering, Shanghai, mature and more – all mild-flavored and interchangeable in recipes.

Pak choi is especially delicious when eaten raw. Just slice it up, toss with a light dressing, and enjoy. A great summer alternative is to grill it on your barbecue (see 2nd recipe below).

Pork Stir-Fry – 18/07/2011

A recipe from Montreal West member Cindy Smith’s mother, Linda. Cindy and Linda share a basket – and recipes, too.

  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) water
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) each soy sauce and dry sherry
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dark sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) grated fresh ginger or 2 tsp (10 ml) bottled chopped giner
  • 8 baby bok choy or 1 large bok choy
  • 1 red or yellow pepper
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 3/4 lb (375 g)
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) skin-on almonds, toasted (optional)
    1. In a small bowl, whisk water with soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
    2. Rinse bok choy under cold running water, spreading leaves to wash away dirt. Pat dry with paper towels. Leave baby bok choy whole. Cut large bok choy in half lengthwise. Cut out and discard core. Slice leaves and stalks crosswiseinto 1-inch (2.5 cm) strips. They should measure about 7 cups (1.75 l).
    3. Core and seed pepper, then slice into thin strips. Slice pork into thin, bite-sized strips.
    4. Heat oil in a large wide saucepan, or wok, over medium-high heat. Add pork and stir-fry until light golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
    5. Add bok choy and pepper. Pan will be quite full, but volume decreases during cooking. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender-crisp, 3 to 4 more minutes.
    6. Stir soy mixture, then pour into pan. Stir until sauce thickens, approximately 2 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds.
    7. Serve with basmati rice or rice noodles.

Grilled Pak Choi – 11/07/2010

  • Wash pak choi
  • Slice in half lengthwise, leaves to stem
  • Laying face up on a dish, drizzle with olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grill for 7-9 minutes on each side to your likeness (under broiler in the oven or on barbecue in the summer)
  • Remove and season to your liking*

* It is delicious plain, but can also be served up with a garnish of chopped fresh dill or sage, along with one or more of the following: a bit of balsamic vinegar, pine nuts or walnuts, a sprinkle of grated Romano cheese.

Flash-fried Pak Choi – 11/07/2010

We also suggest the recipe below from the UK vegetable growers’ website at http://www.thinkvegetables.co.uk/.

The author loves “the mix of soft, tender leaves and creamy, crunchy stems just thrown into a sizzling hot pan with some soy sauce, sherry and star anise.”

  • 8 small or 4 medium pak choi*
  • 6 tablespoons sweet sherry
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 star anise or a large pinch Chinese Five-Spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, sliced
  • A large piece of ginger, peeled and cut into fine shreds
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely shredded
  • 50g cashew nuts, finely chopped
  1. Halve the pak choi from tip to root. Stir together the sherry, soy sauce and five-spice powder, if using.
  2. Heat a wok or large, deep frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Swirl it around the pan and when sizzling hot add the garlic, ginger, star anise and spring onions. Quickly stir everything around the pan so that it does not burn and when golden brown, after about 1-2 minutes, add the pak choi.
  3. Stir for 2 minutes then add the soy liquid and cashews. Let the liquid bubble up and steam then take the pan off the heat and serve the pak choi while sizzling and hot.

* Arlington Gardens Note: Pak choi come in all sizes. Recipe can be made with a single large pak choi cut into large pieces.