Bok Choy is a member of the Brassica family that includes kale, collard greens, and different cabbages. Its flavor is likened to that of cabbage with an additional hint of pepper. It can be traced back to ancient Egypt and China in 500 CE. It was popularized in Korea during the 14th century and was used to make kimchi, a now well-known fermented cabbage condiment. It is thought to have made its way to America due to Chinese immigration. Bok Choy is typically eaten in the form of kimchi or in addition to stir-fry, curry, and soup.
Preserving bok choy as kimchi will turn it into a natural, gut-friendly probiotic; probiotics are good bacteria that aid in digestion
- Vitamin K important for blood clotting
- Folate important for preventing neural tube defects and may help prevent cancer
- Vitamin C important for the immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
- Potassium helps lower blood pressure and helps muscles contract
- Vitamin E supports immune function, vision, and skin health.
- Iron important for red blood cell formation
- Calcium important for strong bones
- Beta-carotene precursor to vitamin A, an antioxidant which is good for eyesight and skin
How to Shop
Similar to lettuce and other leafy greens, choose Bok Choy that is vibrant green, firm, and the leaves are packed tightly together.
How to Grow
When: Bok choy is a cool weather crop, so it will grow best during spring or fall. This should be 1-2 weeks after the last frost date.
Where: In partial shade where it gets 3-5 hours of sunlight/ day in rich, loose soil.
How: Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart and fertilize. When 4 inches tall, thin to 6-10 inches apart. Keep rows 18-30 inches apart. Water consistently especially if the weather is hot.
Harvest: After 45 days before the weather gets swelteringly hot. It is ready when it stands 12-18 inches tall. Using shears, cut the plant off from one inch above the ground.
How to Store
In a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for 5-7 days.