Bok Choy is a leafy green vegetable that has been a part of Asian cuisine for quite a long time. It’s entirely edible, from its dark green leaves to its thick white stalks, and can be prepared in a number of ways. You can steam it, stir fry it, broil it, or eat it raw by mixing it in a salad or slaw.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Bok Choy, how to buy and store it properly, and how long you can expect for it to last depending on the storage conditions.
What Is Bok Choy?
Bok Choy, also known as Pak Choi and Chinese white cabbage, is a leafy green vegetable that’s closely related to cabbage, broccoli, kale, and turnips. It has a round white bulb on the bottom, dark green leaves on top, and long stalks that look a lot like celery.
If you’re interested in incorporating more leafy greens into your diet, this is the perfect vegetable for you. You can also look for a smaller version of Bok Choy, known as baby bok choy, that’s harvested a little earlier.
The great part about this vegetable is that it’s available in all the seasons. But if you’re trying it for the first time, you should know that it’s at its prime in the winter because the frosty weather allows it to develop a sweet flavor and a crispy texture.
Things to Keep in Mind When You're Buying Bok Choy
When you’re buying Bok Choy from your local grocery store, here are a few tips you need to keep in mind:
- If you’re interested in buying baby Bok Choy, you should look for small and tender heads.
- If you’re looking for larger varieties, you should check the leaves and stalks for any signs of wilting. Avoid buying Bok Choy with droopy leaves and stems.
- Look for Bok Choy that’s vibrant in color and has little to no browning to enjoy the best flavor.
In the Refrigerator
Let’s take a look at some ways you can store this cruciferous vegetable inside your refrigerator.
In a Ziploc Bag
- Place the unwashed vegetable in a Ziploc bag.
- Cut a few holes in the bag to allow for air circulation and make sure the vegetable doesn’t get wilted.
- Consume within 3 to 4 days.
Wrapped in Paper Towels
- Use a knife to cut the base of the Bok Choy and remove the stalks from the vegetable as well, but don’t throw them out as they’re also edible and can be used in a variety of recipes.
- Add cold water in a large bowl and place leaves inside it for a while before rinsing them out, shaking them to get of excess water, and patting them dry with paper towels.
- Carefully place the leaves on new paper towels and then roll them up.
- Put the wrapped leaves inside a Ziploc bag and place it inside the vegetable crisper.
- Consume within 5 to 6 days.
- Fill a jar with ice cold water.
- Add the stalks inside and make sure they’re standing upright before storing the jar in the refrigerator.
- Consume within a day or two.
In the Freezer
- Wash the leaves properly before cutting off the woody stalks.
- Blanch the leaves for around 2 minutes and place them immediately after in bowl filled with ice cold water.
- Get rid of the excess moisture by blotting them dry with paper towels, place them inside freezer bags or airtight containers, and store them in your freezer.
How Long Does Bok Choy Last?
How long Bok Choy can last depends on how you’ve stored it. If it’s properly stored in the refrigerator, it can last for anywhere between 3 to 6 days. To maximize its shelf life, you should store it inside a plastic bag in the refrigerator and only wash it when you’re ready to use it.
If you store your Bok Choy in the freezer, it will remain in the best quality for up to a year, and will be safe to consume for a lot longer.
You’ll be able to tell if your Bok Choy is no longer safe to consume if it has turned unusually soft and appears to be discolored. If it has a strange smell, throw it out immediately.
Feel free to add Bok Choy to your diet if you’re looking for more ways to eat healthy. The great thing about this vegetable is that it doesn’t lose as much volume as most vegetables when it’s cooked so what you see is what you get.
Make sure you’re picking out the best variety from the grocery store and storing it properly. If it has turned strange in appearance, discard it right away.