Bok Choy is a vegetable that I truly believe doesn’t get enough attention in the average American kitchen. A lot of the leafy greens tend to make people a bit skittish. To be honest, I steered clear of them myself for a few years when I first started cooking (with the exception of salad, of course). I have since come to love my leafy greens and bok choy is no exception.
First of all, bok choy is really good for you. With less than 10 calories per a 1 cup serving, it also boasts a lot of nutritional benefits. It has more than half the recommended daily values of Vitamin A, C, and K, and is a good source of folate, B6, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. Bok choy is also a good source of phyto-chemicals and antioxidants. Basically, a lot of nutritional bang for so few calories!
Even though bok choy looks a little bit like celery it’s related to cabbage, and the flavor is like a mild cabbage with an ever so slightly bitter (but not a bit offensive) taste in the background. The white base of this vegetable has a good crunch and the leaves are nice and tender. Because bok choy doesn’t have a strong flavor, like cabbage, it pairs well with a variety of culinary traditions. I think it’s most helpful and less intimidating to to think of bok choy as being a “cabbage” as opposed to an “Asian vegetable” because it works well with all kinds of flavors and would blend well into American cooking if we only gave it a chance. For today I started with the basics and created an Asian-inspired dish – Ginger Pepper Chicken and Bok Choy. For another day, however, I’m thinking a Cajun-inspired bok choy dish… Let me know what you think!
Ginger Pepper Chicken and Bok Choy
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 1 tsp peanut oil
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 1/4 lb bok choy
- 5 medium carrots
- 1 bunch green onions (about 6)
- 1 1/2 C low sodium chicken stock
- 5 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp garlic
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
1. To begin, prep your chicken and vegetables. Cut the chicken and carrots into long strips, coarsely chop the bok choy, and dice the green onions.
2. In a skillet heat 1 tsp of peanut oil over medium high heat. After waiting a couple of minutes for the oil to heat up, add your chicken to the pan and brown. This will take about 5 minutes, and you’ll need to flip the chicken mid-way. After the chicken is cooked, set it aside in a dish.
3. Add your carrots to the hot pan that the chicken was in. Cook for about 4 minutes so that the carrots begin to soften and brown, but are still firm. Once finished, set aside in the dish with the chicken.
4. Add the bok choy to the hot pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the bok choy is wilted and soft, and the then add your carrots and chicken back into the pan.
5. While your vegetables are cooking, work on your sauce to cut on cooking time. To begin, add your chicken stock, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ground ginger, dry garlic, black pepper, and arrowroot flour to a sauce pan and whisk well, making sure any arrowroot flour lumps are dissolved. Turn your burner onto medium-low heat and bring your sauce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 2 minutes, allowing time for the sauce to thicken and then remove from the heat.
6. Pour your ginger pepper sauce over your chicken and vegetables, then you’re ready to serve!