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Bok Choy 101 Guide: From Cooking to Regrowing

One of the best things about the Internet is having a wealth of information on all kinds of interesting foods and plants. And in that regard, the Bok Choy — also referred to as the famous Chinese White Cabbage — represents no exception. This veggie is noticeable for its white tender bulb rounding at the bottom, and an elongated celery-ish stalk rising above with dark green leaves. It’s an incredibly nutritious veggie, and all parts of it are edible. Furthermore, you can both eat it raw, cook it, and regrow it from scraps — which is why we’re going to explore it further right here!

Many cooks and food aficionados refer to this plant as the “gateway green veggie” due to its mild taste — so it’s definitely an excellent pick if you’re looking to get more familiar with leafy greens, but aren’t accustomed to their taste and texture.

You can also buy baby bok choy, which is just as tasty; albeit smaller and younger than the full-blown version, because it was harvested sooner. Interestingly enough, while you can buy bok choy throughout the entire year — this leafy green reaches its true prime during the winter. That’s because the frosty cold can help bok choy develop a uniquely crispy texture and a stronger flavor.

Nutrition and Storage

One of the reasons why many people adore bok choy is that it’s a true nutritional powerhouse. You’ll find that it’s simply swimming in iron, magnesium, and calcium; while also containing crucial vitamins like K, A, and C.

Considering that — you want to go out and buy some right away! When you start picking out which bok choy pieces you want, definitely make sure that you get the ones that look the freshest and nicest; avoid ones that seem to be rubbery or wilted, as they will lack the crispness that’s crucial for this veggie.

And when you do buy them and get them home — ensure that you’ve tightly wrapped them in some kind of plastic bag; you can get one at the grocery store. The key here is to make sure that there’s little to no air in the bag. That way, the veggie should stay fresh for five days; provided you keep it in the fridge, of course.

Preparing Bok Choy

There are plenty of recipes that entail preparing bok choy; the key with all of them is to spend some time rinsing the veggie first. If you’re dealing with a particularly ripe piece of Choy, you can pretty much treat it like you would some celery.

Start by cutting off the end of the root and proceed by running the rest under a stream of cold water; ensure that you’ve properly washed the leaves as well. If you’re going to cook the entire bok choy, you should know that different parts of the plant take a longer time to cook. For instance, the stems take a longer while than the greens; so we recommend starting with those first. And if you’re cooking the baby variant of bok choy, it’s all pretty much the same; just slice them up into quarters or halves before rinsing.

Once you cook the bok choy, you will find that the stems start being deliciously creamy and tender; while the leaves remain bright and fresh. There are all kinds of recipes for stir-frying, broiling, and steaming this plant — and if you want to mix it in coleslaw or a salad, it’ll go great raw as well.

Regrowing Bok Choy

One of the best parts about bok choy is that it’s an incredibly economical plant — if you want to spend some time regrowing it, there’s absolutely nothing easier! And for those with a thrifty personality, this is a great alternative to just throwing away all of the leftovers in the garbage or your compost bin.

Plus, if you’ve got kids at home and want to teach them about gardening — the bok choy is a great edible and no-fuss plant that will get them started on the right eco-friendly path! If you’ve got a single stalk of bok choy and want to grow more, you’ll find that it’s not difficult at all!

For starters, simply chop off your bok choy base, just like you would if you were cooking it. Then, take a bowl and fill it with warm water. Proceed to place the plant inside, but with the cut side on the surface. Then, all you need to do is to find a nice sunny spot — like a windowsill and leave it there. Sure, you’ll need to change out the water every couple of days — but in a week, you’ll see significant progress!

After a while, the center of the plant will start growing back and going from the initial pale green to a much darker shade. This means that the bok choy is ready to be transferred to a pot! Now, you first need to prepare the pot by placing some potting mix, but you probably knew that already.

So, after a week or so — plant your reinvigorated bok choy in a way that leaves it almost utterly buried — you should only leave the tips of the new leaves on the surface. After that, you just need to nurture the plant with occasional watering, and it will have everything it needs to reach full maturity in no time at all!

And the best part about all of this is — once you’re really done and ready to harvest the bok choy, you can still keep one of the stems and start growing your next specimen anew! Basically, it’s a never-ending circle of free bok choy.

We hope that this guide was useful to you and that you have learned something new today on the subject of Bok Choy. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!

Image by JUNE JUNG from Pixabay 

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