Bok choy stir fry – easy restaurant style recipe

For some people, especially those who grew up in a typical Cantonese family, this bok choy stir fry can be quite simple. However, it is deceptively difficult to make this iconic Chinese dish at home in such a way that it tastes like it does in a restaurant.

This bok choy stir-fry recipe is very high in nitrogen.

Bok choy is as popular as gailan (Chinese broccoli) and choy sum and is very easy to prepare.  I have cooked this vegetable many times, following my mother’s methods and experimenting with different techniques. In the end, I chose a method that was best for cooking for my family.

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What is Bok Choy

Bok choi is also translated as bak choi, pak choi, bái cài or bak choy, all of which come from the word 白菜. These differences are due to minor phonetic differences between Chinese dialects.

The direct translation of 白菜 is white vegetables, but they don’t have to be white. The leaves of bokchoy are crisp, with a slightly grassy, slightly bitter taste.  The stems are either white (yep!), but some can be light green. The texture is crisp, with a nice crunch from celery.

The taste of bokchoy is mild and relatively neutral, it is versatile to prepare with different spices.

There are many varieties, but for culinary purposes I would group them into large and baby bokchoy, as the preparation method differs slightly.

left: Baby Bok Chot, on the right: Big Bok Chot.

How to fry bokking choy

The most common difference between the home version and the restaurant version is that the flavor of the wok is not enough and the handle is too hard or too soft.

Here are step-by-step instructions to recreate this iconic Chinese dish at home.

1. Prepare bok choy for frying

Baby bok choy

Since baby bok choy is only two to three inches long, it is better not to cut it or remove the leaves to preserve its appearance. Finally, the stems are very fragile, meaning they become brittle when cooked along with the leaves.

Rinse the baby bok choy in a large bowl or pan of tap water. Change the water two or three times to remove all the dirt and sand. Place the bokchoy in a colander to drain excess water.

Large bokchoy

If they are larger, cut off half an inch to an inch from the root portion of the stem. Keep each stem separate and rinse it, either under running water or by dipping it in a tub of water several times to remove dirt.

Then cut or break each stem crosswise to separate the leaves and stems. Drain the leaves and stems separately in separate sieves.

Cut the stems at an angle to break the fibers.  The stem is then soft and crisp, and it is not necessary to overcook it to make it tender, because the color of the bokchoy becomes dull after long cooking.

Another method is to cut the long side of the choy in half, creating two halves. This method reveals a beautiful stem pattern while keeping the structure intact. However, its texture is brittle, making it more suitable for blanching or deep frying.

2. Which is better – bleaching or not bleaching?

Some cooks prefer to blanch the stem of a large bok choy before sautéing, as this takes longer than cooking the leaves. I used to blanch the larger stalks separately in boiling water for a few minutes and then add them to the baking sheets so they were tender and crispy at the same time. My method evolved a bit, because I thought it would be faster to skip the bleaching.

My current method is to roast the stem for two minutes on high heat, then add the leaves and continue cooking. They are cooked until tender and crispy and at the same time they are safely blanched in another pan of water.

3 Hoe bok choy seasoning

This fried bok choy recipe calls for four basic ingredients.

Garlic is the most important ingredient you must have.  Almost universally used in Chinese cuisine for all kinds of fried vegetables.

Coarsely chop the garlic to sauté the bok choy. There is no need to finely chop or grind garlic, as this is counterproductive. Since deep frying is very hot, chopped garlic tends to burn quickly during the process.

The second point is ginger.  It’s always good to add two or three thin slices of ginger to the garlic.  This classic combination is used together in almost all Chinese recipes.  It is also a perfect combination in Indian cuisine, usually combined with ginger and garlic paste.

Some say ginger can negate the cooling effect of leafy greens, but that’s not why I use it. I love the taste of this product!

Bok choy is a bit bitter, so I always add a teaspoon of sugar to offset the bitterness.

Finally, season with salt.  In this stir-fry recipe with bok choy, the flavor, texture and mouthfeel of this vegetable come into their own. You rarely hear about bokchoy in other highly spiced dishes like curries.

4. With a fried sauce (bok choy with oyster sauce recipe)

If you want to make a spicier version, I recommend using a simple soy and oyster sauce and changing the recipe for bok choy to oyster sauce. Remember, the sauce should not overpower the flavor of the bok choy, but rather accentuate it.

I don’t recommend roasting bok choy with this sauce, although I do call it a roasting sauce.  The sauce removes the fresh, bright green color of the bokchoy after it is deep fried.  I prefer to keep the color of the bok choy and use the sauce as a dressing.

5. Bake the bok choy

Here are the steps forbaby bok choy ice cream

  • Heat oil in a wok.
  • Add the coarsely chopped garlic and ginger and sauté over low to medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned.  A high heat is not recommended as the garlic can burn quickly.
  • Add the bok choy to the wok. You will hear a loud whistling sound during the brewing process.
  • Turn up the heat. Continue to cook on high heat to create the aroma of the stir-fry dish.
  • Season with salt and sugar at any time during frying.
  • Once the moisture in the wok begins to dry up, add a tablespoon or two of water to the wok and continue frying over high heat. Try to keep the amount of water in the wok as low as possible, as too much water will affect the taste of the wok. A constant hiss should be heard throughout the roasting process.
  • Depending on the size of the choy bok, check the bottom (it is best to eat one to test) and cook the dish immediately when the choy bok is soft. If it’s not cooked yet, add another tablespoon of water to continue baking. Be careful with the color of the coca choi, as it will lose its bright color if you cook it too long.

Here is the step to follow to bake a large Kok Choy

Roasting sticks

  • Heat a little oil in a wok over low to medium heat, as you would a small choy wok.
  • Fry some of the coarsely chopped garlic and the slices of ginger until fragrant.
  • Add the drained and sliced bok choy stalks and saute over high heat. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if it is too dry. On high heat, keep adding small bits of water until the stalks are soft and crumbly, which takes about two minutes. The actual time, of course, depends on the size and thickness of the bok choy stalks.
  • Remove the stems from the wok.

Combine stems with leaves

  • Put a little oil in the pan. Season the remaining garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  • Add the bok choy leaves and cook until they begin to wilt, which will take a minute or two.  Add a tablespoon or two of water if it seems too dry.
  • Put the almost done stems back in the wok.  Season the bok choy with salt and sugar.
  • Continue to fry on high heat until the water is almost dry. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Recipe for side dishBokkenchoy fryer

If you like this recipe for bok choy fries, you are probably also interested in the following recipes.

Sauté of Geylang (Chinese broccoli). This is my previous article describing how to bake gaylan. In this recipe, I briefly blanch the vegetables. You can refer to it if you want to use the bleaching method.

Chicken and broccoli stir fry is a breeze to make in the kitchen. This is the ideal dish when you have no time to cook or when you suddenly feel like eating Chinese food.

This vegetable stir-fry is quick and easy. Deep-frying gives a whole new dimension to your usual vegetables. Try it if you like broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas and bell peppers.

Cooking time
15 minutes

Cooking time
5 minutes

Total time
20 minutes


Ingredients A

  • 400 g Pak Choy to choice
  • 5 Knoplauchzehen, grob gehackt
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Ingredients B (sauce)


  1. Rinse the baby bok choy with water to remove dirt and sand. Drainage.
  2. Heat the oil in the wok. Fry the coarsely chopped garlic and ginger over low to medium heat until fragrant.
  3. Add bok choy and stir-fry over high heat.
  4. Season with salt, sugar and white pepper.
  5. Add a little water if too dry, 1-2 tablespoons at a time,
  6. 1 A8 Fry until the bok choy is soft.
  7. In a small saucepan, bring all ingredients in Group B to a boil to thicken. Let it out.
  8. Pour the sauce over the bok choy. Serve it up.

Variation for large Pak Choi

  1. Separate the leaves from the stem.
  2. Cut the log into short pieces with a slope.
  3. Fry stem and leaves separately.
  4. When both are cooked and still crispy, mix them in a wok, season with salt, sugar and pepper.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish.

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The amount of the deposit :

Calories : 95Total fat: 2gSaturated fat: 0gOverfat: 0gSaturated fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1020mgCarbons: 19gFibre: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 4/10/2021.

frequently asked questions

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