Bok Choy: picking, selecting, storing

20 Oct 2013 08.14 am by Renny Wijeyamohan

Bok choy, also known as Chinese Cabbage, is becoming increasingly popular as foodies outside of Asia attempt to recreate tasty Eastern fare in home and restaurants. Available in mature and “baby” varieties, bok choy is a great source of Vitamins A, C, K and B6 along with folate, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese. As with most greens, it’s super rich in nutrients and really good for your body.


Picking bok choy

As soon as you can spot leaves of an edible size on the your bok choy it is ready for picking. Larger bok choy cultivars can grow up to 60 centimetres tall (approx 2 feet) while the smaller cultivars are ready at around 13 centimetres in height (approx 6 inches). When your bok choy is ready to harvest you can pick off the outer layers of leaves (to extend the longevity of the harvest) or you can pull the plant as a whole. To harvest individual leaves use a pair of scissors to remove exactly how much you need. To harvest the entire plant, cut the bok choy at soil level, leaving the crown in the ground.


Selecting bok choy

The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the bok choy plant the more tender and juicy the leaves and stems will be. The most common varieties you’ll find in your local grocery store or supermarket will be between 13 and 20 centimetres in height (approx 6 to 9 inches). Look for stems that are a pale green with leaves that are a vibrant dark green. Avoid bok choy with wilting or yellow leaves. This is a sure sign that the plant is past its prime.


Storing bok choy

Like most leafy greens, bok choy won’t last for long on your kitchen counter so keep it refrigerated as soon as possible after harvest or after you return from the grocery store. Refrigerated bok choy placed in a plastic bag will keep for between 3 and 7 days so make sure you use it quickly. Wrap it in paper towel before storage to soak up any moisture that can cause the bok choy to go off more quickly.


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