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How to sauté bok choy

How to sauté bok choy

Sauteed bok choy is a delicious side dish. It is easy to make and pairs perfectly with any main dish that you can name. We love to saute bok choy and serve with a beautifully grilled sirloin but it is also a fantastic side dish for meatloaf. Truly there are no limits to cooking with bok choy. We prefer to cook with baby bok choy but if we can’t find it we will absolutely use full-size bok choy. We discovered bok choy when we started experimenting with box meals. Before then, we had seen in the stores but never quite knew what to do with it. Honestly, I would see it and wonder what is bok choy? Now, you can saute bok choy with just 3 ingredients. You only really need bok choy, olive oil, and salt. That alone will be seriously tasty BUT we like to add in garlic. So keep in mind in the recipe below that garlic is purely optional.

Can you saute bok choy in advance?

Technically you can saute bok choy in advance and reheat it but that isn’t what we recommend. It only takes about 10 minutes to prep and saute bok choy, so with this delicate vegetable, I highly recommend cooking it fresh right before serving.IF you want to do a bit of the work in advance, consider washing, drying, and cutting the bok choy a few hours in advance. If cooking a big meal, any prep work that you can do in advance really does help with saving time and chaos at the time of cooking.

How to reheat sauteed bok choy

Sauteed bok choy is best served fresh but you can reheat it and still have a tasty dish. The key to reheating it is to keep it from turning into a mushy mess. Here is how we do it:

Bring a large non-stick skillet with sloping sides to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the sauteed bok Choy and one teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Cook and stir constantly until it is thoroughly heated. This should take about 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat. Be absolutely sure that the pan is hot before you add the bok choy to reheat it saving time and chaos at the time of cooking.

Tips on picking out bok choy

  • Visually inspect the bok choy and keep an eye out for stiff white stalks (the base of the bok choy) and make sure that the greens are crisp and bright.
  • Avoid buying bok choy that has yellow on the tips of the leaves.
  • Avoid buying bok choy that is limp.

Tips on storing fresh bok choy

  • Bok choy should be stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
  • Don’t wash the bok choy until you are ready to cook with it.
  • Place the unwashed vegetables in a plastic bag, cut a few holes in it to allow for airflow. Place it in the refrigerator and use it within 4 days. 

Ingredients needed for sauteed bok choy

  • Bok choy – We prefer to saute baby bok choy but you can also buy traditional bok choy and saute it up just the same. Be sure that your bok choy is fresh and crisp without any brown spots. The fresher the better it will taste.
  • Olive oil – We prefer to saute with olive oil instead of butter. It handles varying temperatures better and as a result, creates a more evenly cooked sauteed veggie.

    However, we are known to add in a pat of butter at the end to get that rich buttery flavor. If you would like to add in butter, just add in during the last two minutes of cooking.
  • Salt – You only need to add in a pinch of salt to truly enhance the flavor. A pinch of salt will keep your bok choy from tasting bland.

    I avoided cooking with salt for years but then realized the true value that salt adds to the flavor of a dish. Consider experimenting with different kinds of salt in this recipe.
  • Minced garlic – Bok choy is so perfectly complimented by garlic that I rarely leave it out when cooking it. This is a purely optional ingredient but I strongly recommend you giving it a try. It only takes a teaspoon of minced garlic to make a beautiful aroma and fantastic flavor. 

    Tip: We keep a jar of minced garlic in our fridge at all times. Freshly minced garlic will always be the most flavorful but it takes time to mince garlic. Keeping that jar in the fridge makes it so easy to add it to any dish as we are cooking.

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Optional ingredients for sauteed bok choy

Herbs and spices – Experiment with adding an of these spices listed below as you saute your bok choy. We are sharing a few ideas to inspire you that we have experimented with and plan to experiment with as well. Try mixing and matching 2 or 3 of them together to create interesting and creative dishes

  • Minced ginger 
  • Cashews
  • Chili powder
  • Tarragon
  • Rice vinegar
  • White wine
  • Rosemary
  • Sesame seeds
  • Fennel
  • Lemon juice

How to saute bok choy

  • Step 1: Prep the bok choy. Prepping bok choy takes a bit of time because you need to cut it before you rinse it. Bok choy is famous for trapping dirt in the leaves so it is important to take your time with the prep work. 

    Cut the root hard end of the bok choy and discard it. You know that you have cut enough off if you are then able to separate out the leaves. 

    Next, remove and discard any leaves that are yellow or wilted. Then rinse and dry the leaves. 

    Finally, cut the leaves in half or quarter them to get your desired size for sauteing
  • Step 2: Heat up a large nonstick skillet.
  • Step 3: Add in the olive oil and swirl it around in the hot pan. Then add the bok choy and salt.
  • Step 4: Stir the bok choy and spread it out in the pan. Try not to stack the bok choy on top of one another. Allow it took cook undisturbed for 1 minute.
  • Step 5: Stir the bok choy. Cook undisturbed for an additional minute.
  • Step 6: Add in the garlic and stir. Place a lid over the pan and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Step 7: Cook until the garlic is browned and the bok choy is soft and the edges are starting to char.
How to Saute Boy Choy

How to Saute Boy Choy

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

How to saute bok choy quickly and easily. This recipe only requires bok choy, olive oil, and salt. However, we prefer to add in minced garlic but that is optional.


  • 2 lb baby bok choy
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Cut off the thick root end of the bok choy. Separate the leaves. Remove any outer leaves that are discolored or wilted. Wash and dry the bok choy. Cut the bok choy into quarters and separate them into pieces.
  2. Mince the garlic cloves.
  3. Heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the olive oil, salt, and bok choy to the hot skillet.
  5. Stir to coat the bok choy. Then cook it undisturbed for 1 minute.
  6. Stir and cook for another minute undisturbed.
  7. Add in the minced garlic. Stir. Then cover the pan and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and check to see if the bok choy has reached its desired level of doneness. It should start to char slightly on the edges and have softened.

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