Common Names: bak choi, paak choi, Chinese chard cabbage, Chinese mustard cabbage
Bok Choy is a vegetable that resembles celery but is actually a member of the cabbage family. It has thick, white stalks and dark green leaves that have a round shape.
History: Bok choy has been cultivated in China for centuries and is now commonly grown in Alberta, Canada and in California, USA. Bok choy is also grown in Europe where it was introduced in the 1700's.
Available year round, except in July and August, and it is best when purchased in the Fall and Winter. Currently, you can buy bok choy in many ethnic grocery stores and in many larger supermarket chains. It is becoming popular to use for cooking because it has a mild taste, similar to cabbage, and can be used in many recipes, either raw, as in salads, or cooked for use in soups and in stir-fries.
How to Buy: When purchasing bok choy, select stalks that are pure white and firm. Additionally, look for leaves that are dark green and non-wilted. Do not select bok choy that has any brown spots on its leaves, as this type of bok choy is less flavorful.
Baby bok choy, which is a younger version of bok choy, should also be purchased according to these standards. Once purchased, you can safely store bok choy in your home for up to three days provided that you refrigerate.
Nutritional Value: One half cup of raw bok choy, which is approximately 56 grams, contains only 10 calories. Additionally, bok choy contains no fat or cholesterol and is a good source of calcium. It is also low in sodium and high in vitamins C and A. Because both bok choy's stalks and leaves can be used in salads, it also provides a delicious and healthy meal for those who are on a diet. Bok choy is also easy to prepare. You need only wash the bok choy, chop it, then use it as you desire.