4-Ingredient Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry

Pair this 4-ingredient baby bok choy stir fry with your favorite main and some steamed rice to complete a nutritious meal. This dish takes 15 minutes to whip together. The baby bok choy is cooked until tender, then soaked with a garlicky sauce that’s savory and lightly sweet. It’s such a great way to enjoy vegetables. {Vegan, Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Baby bok choy stir fry

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Chinese dinner table usually consists of several vegetable courses, one or two protein dishes, and a staple course such as rice, dumplings, or noodles. Vegetable courses are the main component of a family meal. They are usually cooked with a small amount of meat or a rich sauce, to make them just as enjoyable as a meat dish.

This super quick and easy baby bok choy is one of my favorite dishes. It takes 15 minutes to prepare and cook, and it tastes so good!

Stir fried baby bok choy

How to prepare baby bok choy

There are many ways to cut baby bok choy. For stir-frying, this is my favorite method, to yield a well seasoned and evenly cooked result.

  • I start the process by setting up a colander in the sink and placing the baby bok choy directly in the sink.
  • Rinse the baby bok choy with running tap water while removing the outer leaves, leaving only the bite-sized stem intact.
  • Use a paring knife to slice off the tough ends and leave them on the other side of the sink.
  • Transfer the peeled bok choy to the colander to drain.

This method will make the baby bok choy easy to cook through and creates an even texture.

How to prepare baby bok choy for cooking

NOTE:

  • When I get extra large baby bok choy, I further chop the outer leaves, leaving the green leafy part, and cutting the white part into smaller bite-size pieces, so they will be cooked through faster.
  • Sometimes baby bok choy has dirt between the stems. Make sure to rub the bottom end of the stem to remove the dirt once you separate the leaves.

What kind of pan to use

It’s best to cook the baby bok choy stir fry in a wok, if you have the setup. Like I mentioned in a previous post, wok cooking makes a bigger impact on simpler dishes such as vegetable stir-fries than on very saucy takeout-style dishes.

However, if you don’t have that setup, a cast iron pan or carbon steel pan is your next best option. The baby bok choy will get nicely charred with this setup.

Lastly, you can also use a nonstick pan to cook this dish. I used a lot of fresh aromatics in this recipe, so your baby bok choy will turn out just as delicious, minus the charred surface.

Cooking process

Cooking baby bok choy is so easy that I usually skip measuring the sauce.

  1. Heat up the pan until hot and quickly stir in the garlic to release the fragrance without browning.
  2. Stir in the baby bok choy. It will look like the bok choy is spilling out of the pan. Don’t worry, it will shrink a lot at the end.
  3. Add the soy sauce and sugar, then cover to steam. This process helps the bok choy turn tender.
  4. Cook uncovered for a bit more, to let the bok choy absorb more sauce.

The garlic, soy sauce, and sugar work perfectly together to create a rich and aromatic sauce that’s well balanced. If you’re using a wok or carbon steel pan, the sugar and soy sauce also help the bok choy caramelize, creating an even better texture.

Taste the cooked baby bok choy. You’d be surprised how addictive a plate of veggies can be.

How to stir fry baby bok choy step-by-step

Afterthoughts

No matter whether you’re looking for a side dish for your Chinese takeout-style meal, or you’re hosting a dinner party, this baby bok choy stir fry is a great option to add color, texture and nutrition to your dinner table.

It’s one of my favorite Asian side dishes because it’s so easy to prepare and it tastes so good. To learn more about Chinese greens, check out my ultimate guide to Chinese greens.

Baby bok choy stir fry close-up

More delicious Chinese veggie recipes

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

4-Ingredient Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry | Pair this quick and easy side dish with your favorite main and some steamed rice to complete a nutritious meal. This dish takes 15 minutes to whip together. The baby bok choy is cooked until tender, then soaked with a garlicky sauce that’s savory and lightly sweet. It’s such a great way to enjoy vegetables. {Vegan, Gluten-Free Adaptable}

4-Ingredient Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry

Pair this 4-ingredient baby bok choy stir fry with your favorite main and some steamed rice to complete a nutritious meal. This dish takes 15 minutes to whip together. The baby bok choy is cooked until tender, then soaked with a garlicky sauce that’s savory and lightly sweet. It’s such a great way to enjoy vegetables. {Vegan, Gluten-Free Adaptable} You can make this dish gluten-free by using coconut aminos or tamari to replace the light soy sauce.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 59kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 18 oz (500 g) baby bok choy
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic , minced
  • Toasted sesame seeds , for garnish (Optional)

Instructions

  • Rinse the baby bok choy. Tear apart the large leaves and remove the tough ends (see the blog post above for more detailed instructions and pictures). Wash thoroughly to remove any dirt between the leaves and drain in a colander.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet (nonstick or carbon steel) over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and stir a few times until fragrant.
  • Add the baby bok choy, stir, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bok choy is evenly coated with oil.
  • Add sugar and swirl in the light soy sauce. Stir a few times to mix the sauce.
  • Cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the baby bok choy turns tender, but not to the point of being mushy. You can uncover the pan to check on the progress in the meantime.
  • Uncover the pan. Carefully taste the baby bok choy. Let cook for another 30 seconds or so to absorb the sauce. Once done, stop the heat and immediately transfer the baby bok choy to a serving plate. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if using.
  • Serve hot as a side.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.2g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 3.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 2.6g | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 1mg
4-Ingredient Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry | Pair this quick and easy side dish with your favorite main and some steamed rice to complete a nutritious meal. This dish takes 15 minutes to whip together. The baby bok choy is cooked until tender, then soaked with a garlicky sauce that’s savory and lightly sweet. It’s such a great way to enjoy vegetables. {Vegan, Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

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7 thoughts on “4-Ingredient Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry

  1. Edward Filippini

    4 stars
    Wonderful! I tried the bok choy this afternoon and then ate the whole batch long before dinner. Really good and very simple.

    Reply
  2. Makiko Vargas

    5 stars
    Hi, do you know how to keep cooked bokchoy without turning brown?? I made this recipe and kept it warm for potluck but once green bokchoy turned all brown when took the cover off… It tasted great and I like the recipe though.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Makiko, it’s hard to maintain the color of the bok choy once it’s cooked. The best way is to slightly undercook it if you’re planning to serve it later.

      Reply
      1. Jianhan W

        Hi Makiko,

        To prevent your vegetables from turning brown, see the steps below:
        (1) Boil the veg, then rinse it under cold water – This crucial steps prevent veg from browning.
        (2) Fry your garlic till golden brown, then quickly add it the boiled vegetables
        (3) Stir fry quickly while adding soy sauce under high heat, then serve – Don’t want to overcook the vegetables

        The (1) step is widely used in many kitchen, especially buffet style – where the vegetables have to put be on display under low-med heat for extended hours.

        The use of a container that allows your vegetables to breathe i.e., allow the steam to escape would also help to prevent the discoluration .

        Source: My own experiences. Haha. Have worked in a Chinese buffet restaurant for 3 years.

  3. Richard Taylor

    5 stars
    Very easy to make and tastes wonderful. This is a favorite for my 7-year old daughter. Thank you!

    Reply