5 Ways To Cook Bok Choy

This cheap ingredient is your ticket to a tasty veggie dish!

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Did you know that pechay Tagalog is one of the cheapest vegetables on the market today? This is according to regular reports from the Price Watch section of the Department of Agriculture's official website which says that the pechay Tagalog is around P50. 

There are two kinds of pechay or bok choy you may find: the pechay and the pechay Tagalog. You might easily mistake one for the other. The pechay or the bok choy has green stems while the pechay Tagalog has white stems. This doesn't mean that you cannot use one for the other! These two vegetables can be used interchangeably so whichever kind you have on hand, that's perfectly okay to use in recipes. 

If you have a bunch of bok choy or pechay Tagalog on hand, here are easy ways to cook it so you don't have to cook the same recipe twice! 

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1 Steamed Bok Choy 

When it comes to green leafy vegetables, one of the best ways of cooking them is to simply steam them. All you need is to simmer water in a pot and place your veggies in a steamer basket. You can even do this in a frying pan! Just add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and bring it to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer then add the bok choy. Cover and let it steam for a few minutes before removing them from the steamer. 

Then toss in some flavorful sauces or top with toasted garlic for a delicious side dish. 

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Photo by Patrick Martires
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2 Stir-Fried Bok Choy 

Fried rice is a classic stir-fried dish. This usually involves a quick toss in a hot pan with other ingredients being added as necessary so it too can cook. When it comes to bok choy, this method of cooking is super easy to do. Plus, it ensures that the bok choy will be hard to overcook since this is a quick-cooking method. 

To do this easily as a stir-fried ingredient, roughly chop up the bok choy into small pieces so when it's added to the wok or saute pan, it easily cooks. It's a fantastic addition to a fried rice meal!  

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3 Sautéed Bok Choy

Pancit recipes are classic merienda meals, so it's not surprising to see a simple dish made extra delicious and hearty with lots of sahog. Using bok choy instead of the more expensive cabbage makes a great budget-friendly addition to this merienda recipe!

For this recipe, it's an easy add-and-toss with the other veggies before it's simmered in the broth with the noodles. Sotanghon cooks easily so there's little danger for the bok choy (or the shrimp!) to overcook. 

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Photo by Anna Varona
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4 Blanched Bok Choy

Blanching is a super fast method of cooking vegetables to not only cook it without going overboard but also to preserve the colors and as much of the nutrients in the vegetables, too. This method is commonly used right before vegetables are frozen to preserve them better for long-term storage. 

Use this method to quickly cook any vegetable including bok choy to preserve its gorgeous green color. You can even do this and then dunk in ice water to store in the refrigerator for make-ahead meals. 

Photo by Patrick Martires
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5 Roasted Bok Choy

This may be uncommon to do but if you have ever roasted vegetables in the oven, you know how good it can taste. That's why adding bok choy to your list of veggies when you roast chicken is a smart and delicious move. The charred quality that results from the intense dry heat of the oven is what you'll adore plus the flavorful seasonings you add when you toss it in the chicken drippings that are sure to drip down onto the veggie base. 

The chicken taste and the herby pesto add even more flavor to what could have been a mediocre meal. 

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Bok choy may seem like an ordinary vegetable but you will realize that you can prepare and cook in different ways to make it perfect for the meal you're making. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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