Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic

BY : PUBLISHED : November 30th, 2021 UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

This quick and easy recipe for stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic delivers a restaurant-quality side dish full of savory and umami flavors! It is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this humble green leafy vegetable together with any grilled and fried mains. Aside from being absolutely delicious, it is also nutritious, budget-friendly, and is done in less than 15 minutes!

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completed baby bok choy with soy sauce and garlic on a white serving tray against a white background

An All-time Asian Side Dish Favorite

If you love eating at Chinese or Asian restaurants, then you have probably seen this dish featured on their menus. And if you ever wondered how such a simple and unassuming dish can taste like a million bucks, then this recipe will show you how! Using only 5 main ingredients and a few staple seasonings and garnishes, you can achieve that sought-after distinct oriental taste right in your own kitchen!

Why We Love Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic 

  • Nutritious. Bok Choy, also called Pak Choi or Pok Choi, is a type of Chinese cabbage. And like other leafy greens, they are big in nutrients. They are packed with fiber, vitamins C and K, minerals, and antioxidants. Making it into a delectable side dish is a great way to make your kids eat healthier!
  • Budget-friendly. You only need a few staple Asian condiments to make this recipe. Anything you may not have at your pantry can easily be found in your local Asian shops or supermarkets.
  • Perfect for Weeknights. You can have this one-pan dish done in no time! It makes a great dish served alongside other Chinese dishes like Mapo Tofu, and Crispy Fried Tofu Wontons with white rice.

Ingredients Used

  • Baby bok choy - Smaller bok choy are sweeter in taste and have tender leaves than a a full-sized one.  Only chop off the rooty base because this recipe will be using the stalk and the leaves.
  • Canola or vegetable oil - These neutral-tasting oils are suitable for high-heat cooking like stir-frying.
  • Garlic - This recipe will not be the same without toasted minced garlic to add a robust, savory flavor.
  • Soy sauce - You can use the traditional soy sauce or if you want less it salty, look for a reduced-sodium version.
  • Chinese mushroom sauce – This is a type of dark sauce that is primarily made from mushrooms. This condiment adds a silky dark glaze to the sauce and provides rich umami and earthy flavor. In case you do not have this, you can use dark soy sauce instead.
  • Sesame seeds - for garnishing.
  • Salt and pepper - to taste.
ingredients for Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic measured out against a white surface

Preparing the Bok Choy

Before we go into the step-by-step instructions in making Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic, we will walk you through how to properly clean these leafy greens.

Start by trimming the bottom part of the whole bok choy bunch. Those are a little tough to chew anyways. Just leave the crunchy stalks and tender leaves, soak them in water for a minute and gently rub to remove all the dirt. Then wash each leaf gently yet thoroughly under running water. Pat them dry using a paper towel or place them in a strainer to remove excess water.

How to Make the Best Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic

Preparations:

  • Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  • Measure your liquids. This is a quick-cooking recipe; there will be no time to measure once you start.

Steps:

Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and blanch baby bok choy for about a minute. Quickly transfer them to the prepared ice bath, then drain. Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

ingredients for Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic next to a pan against a white background
baby bok choy in a white bowl of ice water
process of baby bok choy being taken out of ice water bowl
process of baby bok choy drying off against a tan cloth

Pour oil in a skillet or a wok over high heat. Sautee garlic until it becomes fragrant.  Add bok choy and cook until just beginning to brown. Add the soy sauce and mushroom sauce. Stir to coat the veggies entirely.

process showing garlic and oil in a black skillet
process showing baby bok choy being added to skillet with oil and garlic
process showing measured out sauces alongside skillet with baby bok choy

Arrange bok choy on a serving dish. Season with salt and pepper and a garnish with sesame seeds on top.

Add-ons and Variations

  • Add a bit of heat by sprinkling some red pepper flakes on top.
  • If you really like it garlicky, add roasted garlic before serving.
  • The mild flavor of bok choy pairs well with a variety of veggies. Feel free to add any vegetables you have on hand, including mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli.

Helpful tips for you!

  • If you can't find baby bok choy in your local market, use regular-sized bok choy and cut them in half lengthwise. Cutting them in half will also allow the sauce to be infused into the leaves, giving each bite additional flavor.
  • The initial step of blanching and cooling the bok choy isn't strictly necessary. However, that simple process locks in the bright green color of the vegetable and makes the bok choy much more tender and sweeter than simply stir-frying raw.
  • Make sure all your ingredients are ready and within reach once you start stir-frying. You will need to get the condiments and seasoning in there on time, or you will end up with a burnt dish.
  • Taste the dish before adding salt. Keep in mind that soy sauce and mushroom sauce are already flavorful.
completed baby bok choy with soy sauce and garlic on a white serving tray against a white background

Storing Leftover Garlic Stir-fried Bok Choy

Store your baby bok choy leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.  Reheat in a skillet over medium heat with a bit of oil. Stir constantly until the mixture is thoroughly hot. Reheating should only take around 2-3 minutes. For longer shelf life, keep them in the freezer for up to 10 to 12 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it okay to eat baby Bok choy raw? Yes, you certainly can. They have a lettuce-like texture with a crunch from the center. Just make sure to thoroughly clean them.
  2. How do you determine when Bok choy is cooked? When you can easily pierce the core with a fork, you know it's done. A bit of resistance is fine if you want them crunchy.
  3. Do I need iced water, or will cold water do when blanching? I prefer iced water to shock the veggies and maintain their bright green color.  But cold water would suffice.  It's important to cool the Bok choy and halt the cooking.
completed baby bok choy with soy sauce and garlic on a white serving tray against a white background

Love Bok Choy? Here are more recipes for you!

  1. Bok Choy with Miso Dressing - That crisp and tender bok choy drizzled with warm miso dressing is all we need for a quick go-to side or appetizer.
  2. Sweet and Sour Tempeh - This sweet and sour meal is complemented by the adding of bok choy. For a quick lunch or dinner, make a one-bowl recipe that goes well with steaming rice.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed baby bok choy with soy sauce and garlic on a white serving tray against a white background

Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic

Stefan
This quick and easy recipe for stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic delivers a restaurant-quality side dish full of savory and umami flavors! It is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this humble green leafy vegetable together with any grilled and fried mains. Aside from being absolutely delicious, it is also nutritious, budget-friendly, and is done in less than 15 minutes!
4.96 from 43 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 56 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • ½ pound of baby bok choy
  • 2 teaspoons of canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ Tablespoon of soy sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon of Chinese mushroom sauce
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. When the water comes to a boil, add the bok choy, and cook for one minute. Drain the bok choy, transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking, and when cool, drain again, and dry with a clean towel or paper towelsl.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the garlic, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy and toss to coat, cooking and stirring until just beginning to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and mushroom sauce, stir to coat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle sesame seeds over as a garnish.

Notes

  • If you can’t find baby bok choy in your local market, use regular-sized bok choy and cut them in half lengthwise. Cutting them in half will also allow the sauce to be infused into the leaves, giving each bite additional flavor.
  • The initial step of blanching and cooling the bok choy isn’t strictly necessary. However, that simple process locks in the bright green color of the vegetable and makes the bok choy much more tender and sweeter than simply stir-frying raw.
  • Make sure all your ingredients are ready and within reach once you start stir-frying. You will need to get the condiments and seasoning in there on time, or you will end up with a burnt dish.
  • Taste the dish before adding salt. Keep in mind that soy sauce and mushroom sauce are already flavorful.

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 326mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5046IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

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Comments

  1. Dianne C Welty says

    I'm allergic to mushrooms.. Is there another sauce I can use in its place?

    • Andrea White says

      You can use a dark soy sauce also! Let us know what you think 🙂

  2. Deb Cherkaoui says

    I’m finding mushroom soy sauce, mushroom “oyster” sauce and mushroom stir fry sauce. Can you please give more info on what this Chinese mushroom sauce is?

    • Andrea White says

      Hi! It should be labeled as "chinese mushroom sauce" but if you're having trouble finding it at your local stores, you can also make your own at home by looking up some recipes! Hope that helps 🙂

  3. Tanya B says

    What is Chinese mushroom sauce and where can I find it?

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