Bok choy, also known as pak choi or pok Choi, is one of two main varieties of green leafy vegetables known as Chinese cabbage. Along with cabbage, turnips, broccoli, and kale, the cruciferous produce belongs to the mustard tribe.
While closely similar to the headed cabbage for which you are possibly acquainted, bok choy looks like a celery/lettuce hybrid. From its thick, clustered stalks to its dark green leaves the entire plant is edible.
It seems that it has long been an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine: Archeologists have discovered 6,000-year-old Chinese cabbage seeds in the Yellow River Valley in China.
“Chinese cabbage” may apply to two varieties of leafy green veggie popular in Chinese cuisine: the Pekinensis (napa cabbage) group and the Chinensis (bok choy) group. Both plants are Turnip type cultivars, which have been used for thousands of years both as food which medicinally. Among the two, the most popular type among napa cabbage. Napa cabbage looks more like the European-born Western cabbage, but it’s slightly oblong.
Some Facts about Bok Choy:
This round-leafed herb, a staple of Asian cuisine, might be less common to American cooks. Here’s what you need to know — including what the name implies, how it can be cleaned and used.
Where It Grows
Although the veggie is still grown in China, Now it is also harvested in California and parts of Canada.
How to Cook it
Known for its moderate flavor, it is perfect for stir-fries, braising, and soups. You can eat it raw, as well.
How to clean it
Both the leaves and the stalks can be cleaned, but they should be separated before washing to ensure thorough cleaning of both parts.
The veggie boasts vitamins A and C. One cup of cooked bok choy offer over 100 percent of A’s daily dietary allowance (RDA), and almost two-thirds of C’s RDA.
Bok choy is a perfect source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, calcium, and manganese. It is a very strong source of iron, vitamin B2, phosphorus, fiber and protein, and also a decent source of choline, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B1, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and pantothenic acid. It also contains flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin, and several phenolic antioxidant acids, like hydroxycinnamic and malic acid.
How it is grown
From planting to harvest the veggie takes about 2 months and thrives best in milder weather.
It’s also called “Soup Spoon.”
Due to the shape of its leaves, Bok choy is sometimes called a “soup spoon.”
Benefits of Bok Choy:
Richest in Vitamin A:
Bok choy ranks as our 11th richest food in vitamin A due to its high beta-carotene quality. This abundance in vitamin A places bok choy ahead of some of its fellow cruciferous crops, including cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts from Brussels, and broccoli.
Bok choy also contains large quantities of other carotenoids — for example, lutein —. Within this cruciferous leaf, phenols and other phytonutrients within bok choy contain what is now regarded as a complete range of more than 70 antioxidants. The antioxidant richness partly explains the ongoing investigation of bok choy concerning cancer prevention since oxidative stress prevention and reduction have often been linked to decrease the risk of cancer-causing cells.
Many of the above described antioxidant nutrients often offer anti-inflammatory benefits. They not only reduce the risk of oxygen-based damage to your cells and body systems but also reduce your risk of chronic unwanted inflammation.
Although responding quickly to hazards or physical injury is a positive thing for the body’s inflammatory system, it is not a good thing for it to continuously cause inflammatory responses where there is no risk of physical hurt. Anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in bok choy help avoid the incidence of this kind of chronic and unnecessary inflammation.