Korean-style bok choy is a quick and easy 10-minute veggie side dish that is hearty, healthy, and full of Korean flavors!
Have you tried bok choy before?
Bok choy is part of the cabbage family, but looks a whole lot like celery! It has rich, leafy greens on top of a thick stalk. It’s popular in Chinese cooking and you can find it served steamed, braised, stir-fried, or even raw. The leafy greens are mild in flavor and the stems are lightly sweet and crunchy. Bok choy takes on any flavor it’s cooked with, so it’s the perfect canvas for these Korean spices!
Any dish that is seasoned with Korean flavoring is referred to as namul. Hence, bok choy namul. The main Korean seasoning in this dish is gochujang, Korean red pepper paste. The gochujang adds the perfect amount of heat and depth to these greens.
How to make Korean-style bok choy
Blanching and stir-frying is a great way to cook bok choy without making it too soggy. The quick blanch softens the fibrous stem and partly cooks it before being stir fried in Korean seasonings.
First, trim the ends off the bok choy and discard. Once the water is boiling, flash boil the bok choy for a few seconds before blanching in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once drained, stir fry these green leafy vegetables in gochujang, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
These Korean spices pack a lot of flavor in one bite! I love how the bok choy stalk stays crisp, while the soft leafy greens are loaded with smoky heat and a subtle sweetness.
As long as I have rice (or noodles!) and this Korean-style bok choy, I know I am going to eat well!
- 12 ounces bok choy
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp gochujang (depending on your heat level)
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp water
- Remove stems from bok choy and discard.
- Make a cornstarch slurry by combining the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and water together and set aside.
- Bring 8 cups of water + ½ tsp salt to rolling boil. Then add bok choy for 40 seconds only.
- Remove from water and blanch in cold ice water bath to stop cooking process and strain.
- Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil (vegetable, canola, grapeseed, peanut), garlic, and gochujang to wok or pan BEFORE turning on stove top. Then turn on to medium heat. Without burning the garlic, gently mix the garlic and gochujang together to season the oil (approx 30 sec)
- Add the bok choy and stir-fry together for 2 minutes. Then add the cornstarch slurry and combine together for 20 seconds.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately