Braised Shanghai Bok Choy

Baby Shanhai bok choy, braised in coconut milk and tumericYes, I'm on a bok choy kick, it happens! (See yesterday's soy-glazed baby bok choy which includes photos of baby bok choy and baby Shanghai bok choy.)

But five minutes of prep? you can't beat that!

This is a super-easy way to cook the 'real bok choy', which can be somewhat fibrous. This means it is often stir-fried, where small pieces and high, fast heat break down the fibers.

Instead, here, the braising technique uses liquid (here, a mix of coconut milk and water colored and flavored with turmeric) and time (a good 30 minutes, unattended except to monitor the temperature) to soften the stalks for consumption. Don't expect the coconut flavor to permeate the bok choy, however -- at least this didn't, perhaps because I used a low-fat version?

Anyway, this is good enough, a useful 'basic' recipe that really lets the bok choy itself shine through.

FROM THE ARCHIVES See the Recipe Box for a growing collection of bok choy recipes.

2006 | Fattoush, the Lebanese salad, the third time's the charm!


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound Shanghai or other bok choy, baby versions if possible
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt (it seems like a lot but it was needed, plus it's really being used to salt the braising liquid, not what will be eaten, the bok choy)
1 cup coconut milk (I used low fat)
1/2 cup water
Lime wedges

Trim the bok choy, then cut into quarters vertically. Let drain.

In a large skillet with a cover, heat the oil til shimmery. Add the turmeric and salt and stir a minute. Add a few drops of liquid, stir til turmeric and salt become smooth and un-lumpy enough to add more liquid. Pack in the bok choy, cut sides down. Cover with coconut milk and water and bring to a slow boil. Cover and let cook for about 15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the slow boil is being maintained, also to press the bok choy into the liquid to submerge if needed. If the bok choy isn't fully submerged, turn over after 15 minutes. Cook another 15 minutes. Remove bok choy from liquid and serve with lime wedges.

PRINT JUST A RECIPE! Now you can print a recipe without wasting ink and paper on the header and sidebar. Here's how.

NEVER MISS A RECIPE! For 'home delivery' of new recipes from A Veggie Venture, sign up here. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, straight to your e-mail In Box.


How to eat more vegetables? A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and the best source of free vegetable recipes with 700+ quick and easy favorite vegetable recipes, the Alphabet of Vegetables, Weight Watchers low-point recipes and microwave vegetable recipes.

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This sounds like a very interesting recipe! I've never had this type of bok choy and wouldn't have thought to combine it with turmeric. But if you think about turmeric being central to curry powder, and that combined with the coconut milk, I bet it's good!

    BTW, I always use the low fat coconut milk, what a great ingredient.

  2. I had bok choy every few weeks when in Edinburgh, and really liked it. I usually just braised it in butter, or then with some soy sauce. Coconut milk sounds like a great version though!

  3. And it's a tasty kick, too. Looks great!

  4. AnonymousJuly 19, 2007

    Oh! Alanna,

    I am SO happy to enter this world of blogging and to find someone SO enthusiastic about veggies!

    I have been eating 5-9 servings of fresh veggies a day going on nine years, and I LOVE them too. I even eat them for breakfast (no kidding!).

    I will check this site frequently.

    Thanks you for your enthusiasm and great recipes!

  5. With 5 minute prep, that calorie count and good flavor - you can't miss. Turmeric and coconut milk there has to be good flavor.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna