Are you looking for healthy cabbage recipes? If so, then one of the best options is bok choy, which is also known by other names like Chinese cabbage. This is easily one of the healthiest cabbages available along with green and red cabbage. Fun Fact: A Chinese scientist wrote a book that made Chinese cabbage popular for its health benefits. Today, it’s one of the main ingredients used in Chinese recipes and is generally considered as one of the superfoods. If you want to pick a nutrient-dense ingredient then learn how to cook bok choy to the best results.
One of the main benefits of bok choy is the nutrients you get. It’s high in vitamins/minerals like Vitamins A/C/K, folate, and calcium. Besides that, it’s low-calorie/carb so it’s a Keto-friendly food that can help you stay in ketosis. That’s one of the main goals when you’re on a low-carb diet like Keto or Atkins. Staying in ketosis is important for weight loss since you’ll get energy from stored fat instead of calories. There’s another nutritional value in Chinese cabbage that makes it a good option if you’re looking for a healthy veggie to add to your dishes like stir fry. You can even swap in this healthy food as a substitute for regular cabbage.
What Exactly Is Bok Choy?
This is one of the world’s superfoods and is known by other names like Chinese cabbage. It’s available in several regions throughout the world including North America. Various studies have been done about this superfood and it turns out it’s easily one of the world’s healthiest foods in terms of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc.
One of the many benefits of this food is its being anti-cancer. There’s a caveat. This doesn’t mean that there’s a 100% chance you won’t get cancer if you eat bok choy. However, due to the antioxidants in particular like Vitamin C, this can help to fight off illness and disease.
The cabbage is loaded with different vitamins and minerals. It’s easily healthier than other leafy vegetables like iceberg lettuce.
Another major benefit of this food is the high Vitamin A content. This vitamin is also high in foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins. Vitamin A can provide several health benefits, including good eye health, which is important for your overall health as well.
Let’s talk about the vegetable’s “family.” This included in the same group as others like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach. It’s worth noting that these are all superfoods, so they’re the ones you should arguably consider adding to your diet.
Another key benefit of Chinese cabbage is you can usually substitute it for standard cabbage. The taste and texture are similar so you’ll be getting many of the same benefits as round cabbage. However, another major benefit is the old saying that “variety is the spice of life.” If you want to try out some new cabbage recipes then simply swap in Chinese cabbage for the regular red or green varieties.
It’s recommended that you consume eat at least ¾ cups of these “cruciferous” veggies. If you can boost your intake to up to 1.5 cups per day then it’s even better.
How to Cook Bok Choy
There are various issues to consider when preparing a bok choy. The first is whether you’ll be cooking with full-size or baby bok choy. There are pros and cons to each one. In the case of baby bok choy, the smaller size will make it more flexible.
On the other hand, sometimes it might be tougher to find baby bok choy. In that case, you can still go with the full-size version and still get the same nutrients.
Another issue to take up is the type of oil you use when sautéing the cabbage. The best options are ones like olive and coconut oil. Try to avoid cheap vegetable oils for various reasons. They might be cheaper but they’re also highly processed.
One of the best cooking oils to use is extra-virgin oil. The price tag will be somewhat higher but the quality in terms of nutritional value will be sky-high. It’s one of the main reasons it’s a key ingredient in the Mediterranean Diet.
When cooking the bok choy you should also make sure not to overcook it. The reason is it will hurt the taste and texture. It’s always better if you have some crunch to your cabbage and that’s done by just cooking it halfway or so.
One X-factor is if you overcook any veggies the main drawback is fewer nutrients. This includes vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. This explains why some people go on a raw diet since it involves eating mostly uncooked food.
A related issue is cabbage cooks quite fast. So, if you’re making a stir fry, for example, first add the cooking oil. Then sauté your onions/garlic. After cooking meats, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. add the cabbage close to the end. That’s because it cooks up quite fast. You won’t want a soggy mess when you’re done.
Easy Recipe Ideas for Chinese Cabbage
1. Chicken Stir Fry
One of the main benefits of stir-fry is it is so easy to make. This recipe includes the popular poultry. Some of the key ingredients include rice vinegar and herbs/spices like vinegar. The main ingredients include chicken strips plus bok choy.
2. Chicken Soup
This is Chicken Soup 2.0 since you get some leafy greens in addition to the basic ingredients of chicken broth and either chicken or shrimp. This is an easy recipe that might be your next go-to restaurant on a cold winter day.
3. 5-Spice Pork
This recipe includes 5 tasty spices with the lean protein. The spice powder provides most of the flavor so you’ll just have to add some cooking wine, soy sauce, and salt. That’s it!
4. Lion’s Head Meatballs
This one’s a classic Chinese casserole with pork meatballs that look like a lion’s head. Besides the pork, the meatballs also include ginger, green onion, and soy sauce. The meatballs are placed on some bok choy leaves, which look like the big cat’s mane.
5. Shrimp w/ Chinese Greens
This is a classic dish that includes the popular shellfish and Chinese greens. It’s always good to eat more greens since they’re loaded with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Other ingredients include mushrooms, ginger, and soy sauce.
6. Stir Fry (Baby Bok Choy)
This one includes the trending baby bok choy. This variety is popular because it has a mild flavor versus
the full-grown types. This recipe is really easy with some seasonings and ginger.
7. Garlic w/ Chili Paste
This is a great option since it provides some “heat” with the popular cooking herb. When you want to make dinner in a jiffy this can be a go-to recipe. It’s full-flavored yet doesn’t include lots of ingredients. The basic ingredients also will save you money after learning how to cook bok choy.