As the world around us fills with the green of Spring, so too, do the produce stands at the market. One of the joys of spring can be found in the tender and fresh baby Bok Choy. They are a delight to look at and a treat to eat.
Bok Choy is a form of leafy green cabbage and originally hails from China, Philippines and Vietnam. If you think Bok Choy is a relatively recent addition to our food scene, you might be surprised to find that an archaeological excavation of an ancient Chinese village found Bok Choy seeds that were more than 6,000 years old!
Today baby Bok Choy is making a sweet statement to main dishes, showing up in restaurants across the US. It is a wonderful vegetable, low in calories with a high nutrient and anti-oxidant content. The best part is that you can eat the entire plant; leaves, stem and bulb. The baby Bok Choy is really the full-sized variety harvested before the plant has a chance to grow into an “adult.” You will know you have the “baby” if the head is seven to nine inches in length with fully shaped leaves on short stalks.
Bok Choy can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days in a paper bag. It is easy to cook and will maintain its beautiful shape under high heat, but be careful because the delicious sweetness can be easily overwhelmed.
We recommend using simple ingredients that allow the sweet flavor to shine through. As with all fresh produce, it is best to let the natural flavors come through. Heavy sauces or too much of a glaze will overpower many fresh vegetables.
Here is a lovely Spring recipe for Baby Bok Choy, which are now available at the Young Harvests stand at Bethesda and Pike Central Farm Markets. While you are at the stand, ask Rob, the owner, to tell you about the other “baby” greens he grows. He will even give you a taste right there. Enjoy and sweet eats!