Garlic Ginger Bok Choy

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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)!

A plate of baby bok choy.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

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. 

Ingredients to stir-fry bok choy.

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!

Cooking garlic and ginger in a wok.

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. 

Bok choy in a wok.

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

Adding water to bok choy in a wok.

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

A close-up of baby bok choy.

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. 

A white plate of cooked baby bok choy.

Easy Bok Choy Recipe (Garlic & Ginger)

5 from 37 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

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!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.
    A wok with garlic, ginger, and oil.
  • 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.
    Cooked bok choy in a wok.
  • Steam the bok choy. Pour two tablespoons of water into the pan, cover, and let it cook for 2 minutes more.
    Stir-fry bok choy in a wok.
  • Serve. Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper, and serve. 
    Stir-fry bok choy on a plate.

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.

Nutrition

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
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.

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Recipe Rating




76 Comments

  1. Greetings! Tried this once so far—delicious! One question: Can I use toasted sesame seed oil instead of the avocado oil?5 stars

  2. This is so easy that the hardest part is cleaning the bok choy! Thank you for such a simple recipe to learn what to do with this vegetable that I’ve been a bit unsure of until now!5 stars

  3. Yum! I topped this off with a drizzle of chili oil and it was so tasty. I could have eaten the whole batch! Thanks for the recipe. :)5 stars

  4. Hi! I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. I don’t use avocado oil for anything. Can a different oil be substituted? Thank you.

  5. I enjoy your recipes! I’m also a huge fan of bok choy. You refer to it as “Chinese cabbage” at the beginning of your recipe. I thought Napa cabbage was also called Chinese cabbage. Please educate me as to the difference. Thank you. 5 stars

  6. Delicious!!! I can’t believe how fast it cooked. I usually cook bok choy in the oven but this was way better and easier!5 stars

  7. I just read another recipe for baby bok choy that would have you roast it in oven. Basically you could use your mehtod of preparation and roast instead of using stove top. Either way you have a winner!5 stars

  8. I have just made this. So gentle, crispy, flavoursome, aromatic and just very nice!! A good side to an Asian roasted jumbo quail and some Jasmine rice. Thank you5 stars

  9. Thank you for this! I always wondered how my mother in law cooked this.  She would make it as a Korean side dish. But in hers I also tasted sesame oil.  I will try first the way you do it, then see if what happens if I also use sesame oil, hope I don’t mess it up lol! 

      1. Thanks for this, it was delicious- all the guests at dinner table asked for the recipe – I gladly shared your website.5 stars

  10. Yes, it is so good, I pretty much do that to all the Chinese leafy greens, I add little bit chicken broth too to soften hard stems…. I make stir fry Kale from Costco, bok choy etc5 stars

  11. EXCELLENT RECIPE. The garlic and ginger added just enough flavor to compliment the delicate bok choy without overpowering. Will make this again. I served with rice and fish though the flavor is so subtle it would pair easily with most any type of dish.5 stars

  12. I used this ginger garlic recipe with my cabbage tonight. It was good but not great so I added fresh parsley and it popped! Thank you for all your great recipes! 5 stars

    1. Been growing bok choy and now have beautiful bokchoy growing in the garden. Your recipe is very handy, thank you!

    1. I haven’t yet! But it could be delicious. Just make sure to keep an eye on them as they can cook fast

  13. Cant wait to try it .I have never seen it before ! just got garlic and ginger ready now for the bok! Sheila

  14. Been missing Bok Choi  … last time I had it was in China so I had to get some here in USA 
    Nice recipe too 5 stars

  15. First time cooking bok choy and my husband and I liked it. The recipe is easy and I had all the ingredients. I will make this again.5 stars

    1. Hi Marina – Happy to hear this recipe came out perfectly! This sounds great with thin carrots tossed in :)

  16. First time I made it and oh my goodness!  It is so easy and so delicious.  I sliced the garlic and also the ginger.  They softened up and ate them all!  Will definitely be making this over and over again.  Hubby loved it, too!5 stars

  17. This is a great recipe!! I added a bit of sesame oil at the end and it was perfect! Thank you for the clear, informative instructions.5 stars

  18. We did not find this dish to have much flavor.  I did use a large bok choy as that is what the grocery delivery service sent for baby bok choy.  Not bad, just not something I would want to have again.

    1. Hi Patric – If you’re using large bok choy versus baby bok choy you would likely need to increase the amount of garlic and ginger. You can always adapt the spices to suit your individual flavor preference.

  19. It’s the third time for me enjoying this delicious recipe. So simple and nutritious!
    New favourite side dish!
    Coud you tell the difference between the Avocado Oil you use (Chosen Foods) and the one from Whole Foods (365 Everyday Value) is the one you use Refined & Expeller pressed?5 stars

    1. Hi Laura – I’m so happy you love the bok choy recipe! Yes, the avocado oil I use is expeller pressed and naturally refined.

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  21. Will definitely download your app it’s the best love your advertisements and recipes the best thank you 

  22. I really love baby bok choy! I rarely make it on it’s own but love these ingredients and how this recipe will fit in perfectly with my keto diet!5 stars

  23. I’ve been getting this in my CSA box like crazy–I love how simple and tasty this flavor combo is!5 stars

  24. What a fabulous recipe!   So simple and it sounds delicious.   A new side dish is starting in this house!  – Debbie, VA 5 stars

  25. Bok Choy is one of my favorite vegetables — I especially love the baby bok choy. I can’t think of a more delicious combination than garlic and ginger to go with it. Delicious!5 stars