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What Does Bok Choy Taste Like? And What Parts Are Edible?

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Bok choy is not the most common plant in the west, so it’s quite normal when you first see it to ask yourself what does it taste like.

It looks like a combination of celery root with lettuce leaves but does it taste like them?

You can very often see bok choy as an ingredient used in Asian recipes.

bok choy

What does bok choy taste like?

Bok choy has a milder cabbage flavor combined with a bit of celery, and the leaves taste more like lettuce leaves. Overall the taste is not so strong, so it is a good substitute for cabbage if you want something with a milder flavor. It can also be used in place of lettuce in a salad.

Bok choy can taste a bit bitter, but only if it’s a more mature one. We will talk about choosing the best bok choy later in this article to ensure that your bok choy will not be bitter at all.

There are also baby bok choy which taste almost the same as regular bok choy. But baby bok choy is more convenient when cooking also, look cute and can make a good impression when you have guests since.

Read also: Arugula Substitute

Can you eat raw bok choy?

Yes, bok choy is safe to be eaten raw. Make sure you wash the leaves and the stem very well if you plan to eat them raw, but other than that, you should not worry too much when eating raw bok choy.

It is actually recommended to be eaten raw since it has many vitamins that are lost when cooked or boiled. So if you are on a diet, raw bok choy in a salad should work well.

Can you eat all parts of the bok choy?

Yes, you can eat the white stem as well as the green leaves from bok choy.

Bok choy is part of the brassica family which means that the plant doesn’t grow in the ground, so the small roots are always cut before arriving at the market.

If somehow you see some stringy roots, you should cut them before eating or cooking the bok choy, but most probably, this will not be the case. This would be the equivalent of seeing a cabbage with the roots attached.

As I said before, you can use the stem as a substitute for white cabbage when cooking or making a salad and the leaves as a substitute for lettuce in a salad or soup.

How to pick a good bok choy?

For having a good experience when eating bok choy, it is essential to buy them when they are fresh. So I will give you some criteria to look for when you choose bok choy from the market.

-Color. The stem color should be white or very light green. When it goes bad, it will most likely be a yellowish color.

The leaves should be a bright green color, they usually become much darker green when the bok choy is old or is going bad.

-Weird spots. The bok choy should not have any weird yellow or other colored spots, which applies to the stem and the leaves.

-Texture. The leaves should be quite firm and tender, and the stem should be firm and crunchy. If somehow you notice that the stem has any softness, it is better not to choose that specific bok choy.

Also, the leaves should not fall off when you keep the bok choy straight.

Uses of bok choy

So, now we know what bok choy tastes like, what parts are edible, and how to choose a good, fresh one from the market, but what can we do with them other than eating raw?

Let’s see a few uses of bok choy:

-Salad. This is an obvious one but a very good one. Making a salad with raw bok choy is a great idea for a quick and healthy meal.

Make sure you don’t go crazy with the dressing you use if you want to keep it healthy.

bok choy salad

-Soup. We all know that cabbage or a lettuce soup can be great, so a bok choy soup should be a great idea as well. If you want a more cabbage-tasting soup, you should cut the leaves out, and if you want a lettuce-tasting soup, you should cut the stem out.

-Stir-fried bok choy. This can be a delicious option that gives you a lot of room for creativity. You can make stir-fried bok choy with mushrooms or tofu if you want to stay on the vegetarian side. Adding some soy sauce and a few sesame seeds would work great.

But it can also work very well with chicken or any other type of meat.

Baby bok choy can work great stir-fried since they are way smaller and stay intact while cooking.

-Sauteed bok choy. If stir-fried bok choy didn’t convince you, you could try sauteed bok choy with garlic as a side dish for the delicious meat of your choice.

Read Also: Man Made Fruits And Vegetables


To conclude all of this, bok choy tastes like a milder white cabbage with lettuce leaves, which makes it useful in a lot of various dishes.

In my opinion, it is an excellent choice because this way you can have cabbage and lettuce simultaneously.

After reading this article, I hope you know what the taste of bok choy should be like and I hope you will give it a try soon.

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