Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (2024)

Home Recipes Courses Side Dish Garlic Ginger Bok Choy

by Lisa Bryan


Dec 08, 2023

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Bok choy can be prepared in many ways, but my favorite is a quick stir-fry with fresh garlic and ginger. It’s sweet and savory, comes together in less than 10 minutes, and is the perfect vegetable side dish to round out an Asian-inspired dinner (I’ve got a few ideas below)!

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (2)

Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, is a vegetable that deserves far more attention than it receives. I’m a fan of cabbage recipes in general, but who can resist these diminutive baby bok choy with their small bulbs and oversized green leaves? I sure can’t. Especially when they’re sautéed with garlic and ginger. Here’s a few reasons why I love this recipe:

  • It’s easy to prepare. Similar to other stir-fry greens like sautéed cabbage, sautéed spinach, or sautéed green beans, this just needs a quick toss in the pan with simple seasonings.
  • It has a delicious texture. The body stays crisp while the leaves become soft and tender after a quick sauté, so you get the best of both worlds!
  • It’s a healthy dish all around. Not only is bok choy loaded with vitamins and nutrients, but you’ve got added anti-inflammatory benefits from the garlic and ginger!

So when you’re looking for a veggie side dish for an Asian-inspired meal, you’ll love this bok choy recipe! It’s perfectly cooked and seasoned just right.

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (3)

Bok Choy Stir Fry Ingredients

  • Bok Choy: I’m using baby bok choy as it’s a bit sweeter when cooked, but you could also use regular-sized bok choy. Just be mindful of the size difference and the pan you’re using, as the regular kind will require a larger pan.
  • Oil: Avocado oil is my go-to for anything stir-fried. But you could also use olive oil.
  • Aromatics: Fresh ginger, minced garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper enhance this veggie’s naturally delicious flavor and help to counter the bitterness a bit.
  • Water: This is optional, but I like to add a splash of water to help steam the bok choy.

For extra flavor — add a splash of soy sauce, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, or your favorite chili oil at the end. And if you have sesame seeds, sprinkle them on top before serving!

How To Cook Bok Choy

First, thoroughly wash the bok choy. Like leeks, it can harbor dirt and debris under its leaves. So, I like to cut them in half and rinse them under running water. You can also cut a small portion off the base and then remove the individual leaves to rinse if you prefer to eat them that way.

Cook the ginger and garlic. Heat the oil in your wok or saute pan. Then, add the minced garlic and ginger and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Don’t cook for long, as the garlic can burn quickly!

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (4)

Add the bok choy. Although you can use a spatula to stir fry, I like to use tongs to make it easier. You’ll stir-fry for 2 minutes to cook the bok choy lightly.

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (5)

Steam the bok choy. I like to add a splash of water to soften the stems, but it’s optional. Once I do, I cover the pan and let it cook for two more minutes to steam until perfectly softened. If you’re using a wok that doesn’t have a lid, just let it cook for a few extra minutes while stirring occasionally.

If you’re looking for a main dish with the bok choy, I recommend my Scallops with Citrus Ginger Sauce, Kung Pao Chicken, Honey Garlic Shrimp, or Chicken Stir-Fry!

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (6)

More Vegetable Side Dishes

You can never have too many side dishes to choose from, so here are a few more sautéed favorites I love! And if you need more ideas, check out my selection of side dishes.

  • Fried Cabbage: Enhance regular sauteed cabbage with bacon and stone-ground mustard.
  • Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard: Don’t forget about delicious Swiss chard!
  • Sautéed Carrots: The bacon Dijon dressing is SO good.
Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (7)

I hope you enjoy this garlic ginger bok choy recipe! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (8)

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger)

5 from 37 votes

Prep: 10 minutes mins

Cook: 5 minutes mins

Total: 15 minutes mins

Servings: 4 servings

Author: Lisa Bryan



A tasty and quick bok choy stir-fry with fresh garlic and ginger! The perfect side dish to round out an Asian-inspired dinner. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!



  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 4 baby bok choy, sliced in half
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and pepper


  • Cook the ginger and garlic. Heat the avocado oil in a wok or sauté pan on medium.Add the minced ginger and minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

    Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (9)

  • Stir-fry the bok choy. Add the bok choy and use tongs to turn and stir-fry the bok choy in the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes.

    Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (10)

  • Steam the bok choy. Pour two tablespoons of water into the pan, cover, and let it cook for 2 minutes more.

    Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (11)

  • Serve. Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper, and serve.

    Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (12)

Lisa’s Tips

  • It’s much easier to turn and stir fry the bok choy with tongs rather than a spatula. My favorite tongs are these ones.
  • Although this is best served fresh, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5029IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 1mg

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Chinese

Keyword: bok choy, bok choy recipe, how to cook bok choy

©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted March 2019, but updated to include new information and photos for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

Read More About Me

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger) | Downshiftology (2024)


How do you get the bitterness out of bok choy? ›

Acidity can really bring a pleasant flavor out of bitter greens. If they're being used for a salad, it's good to add a vinaigrette with plenty of acidity to brighten it up. If you are sauteing, add some vinegar or citrus to the greens to finish them off.

What is the best way to eat bok choy? ›

Bok choy, a Chinese cabbage, is tender, sweet, and stands up well to heat — making it perfect for stir-frying. Cook it simply with garlic, black bean sauce, or shiitake mushrooms for a delicious side dish, or incorporate it into a frittata or bowl of ramen for a more substantial bite.

Should I soak bok choy before cooking? ›

The simplest way to prep bok choy is to cut it in half lengthwise and submerge it in cold water for a few minutes. This will soften the dirt and allow you to remove it easily. Drain the water, check for dirt between the stalks, and run each half of bok choy under cold water.

Is it better to steam or boil bok choy? ›

The best way to eat bok choy is to lightly steam or stir-fry it to retain its crisp texture. Overcooking makes it mushy. Bok choy has a delicious, mild flavor that pairs well with garlic, ginger, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chiles, or Whole30 peanut sauce.

What can I add to reduce bitterness? ›

Sweetness: From sugar, honey, fruits or otherwise, sweetness will counteract bitter and sour flavours. It can also be used to cut down the heat of a particularly spicy meal. Saltiness: Salt plays two very important roles in flavouring a dish. Firstly, it balances against bitterness.

What part of bok choy do you not eat? ›

All of Bok Choy is edible, so once you get to that point, you can chop up the stem and the bulb. If you want to keep the whole bok choy intact, we recommend using your fingers and opening the stalks so the water can reach it.

Do you eat the green or white part of bok choy? ›

You can consume all parts of the bok choy plant, including its white stems and green leaves. Here are some ideas for how to prepare and eat bok choy: Chop it and sauté it with olive oil, garlic, and ginger as a side dish or to top a grain like rice or quinoa. Dice it and add it to an Asian-inspired soup recipe.

How many minutes to boil bok choy? ›

Cook for about 6 minutes until the base of the bok choy is slightly tender. Test it with the tip of a knife, then serve. For best results, trim the stalks off before boiling, as the stalks take longer to cook than the leaves.

Is it okay to eat bok choy every day? ›

A meta-analysis and review of research in the journal Food Chemistry found that eating 100 grams of cruciferous vegetables, such as bok choy, every day was associated with a 10% reduction in the risk of death from any cause. (100 grams of cooked bok choy is a little more than a half-cup.)

What is the difference between bok choy and pak choy? ›

Also known as Pac Choi, this type of Chinese cabbage is a member of the brassica family. The names Pak Choy and Bok Choy are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference, and it's all in the stem. Bok Choy has a white stem, whereas Pak Choy has a green stem.

How to remove bitterness from bitter leaf by boiling? ›

Add enough salt (you can be generous with the salt) The more salt, the better. Pour in hot boiling water, stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the leaves from the hot salty water and transfer them into cold water. This process blanches the leaves and removes the bitterness.

How do you make bitter vegetables less bitter? ›

How to Make Bitter Vegetables Less Bitter
  1. Add Heat. The intensity of bitter greens needs an equal but opposing force, and chilli pepper is a great option. ...
  2. Braise Them. ...
  3. Blanch Them. ...
  4. Add Vinegar.

How do you blanch greens to remove bitterness? ›

Bring a large pot of water to boil, using enough water to cover the vegetables. Add salt, to taste, and the greens, using a large spoon to submerge. Cook until stems are just tender when pierced with a fork, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer greens to an ice bath to cool and drain again.

Does vinegar counteract bitterness? ›

Like salt, acids such as vinegar or lemon juice compete with bitter flavor compounds, lessening our perception of these tastes as they “brighten” remaining ones.

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