Easy Sesame Bok Choy Stir-Fry Recipe

Bok choy may not get the attention that other leafy green vegetables (like spinach or kale), or cruciferous vegetables (like Brussels sprouts) typically get, but this Asian-born vegetable deserves some time in the spotlight. For one thing, it's incredibly healthy — like other similar vegetables, it's low in calories, but rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, bok choy offers high levels of vitamin C, A, and K, as well as folate (via Healthline). But aside from its health benefits, bok choy is a tasty way to switch up your side dishes. It has a flavor akin to cabbage — a little bit bitter, but still mild and fresh — with a combination of crunchy stalks and soft leaves that offer a nice mix of textures. 

It's also very easy to make. This side dish takes just 15 minutes to make from start to finish, which is one of the reasons its recipe developer, Julianne De Witt, loves it so much. "This is a very simple and easy recipe, perfect for a weeknight meal. The crispness of bok choy goes well with any protein, but I particularly like serving it with prawns and black bean sauce," she says.

Gather the ingredients for easy sesame bok choy stir-fry

Gather up the ingredients you'll need for this bok choy stir-fry. Most are common to Asian cooking, so if you regularly cook stir-fries or similar dishes, you may have many of them on hand. You'll need soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sea salt, pepper, baby bok choy, avocado oil, minced garlic, and minced ginger. 

Prepare the sauce and bok choy

There are a few things you need to prep before you start cooking. First, you'll want to mix up the sauce. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce — the soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper — in a bowl and stir well before setting it aside. 

Grab your baby bok choy and slice each piece in half, lengthwise. Place the pieces in a colander and rinse them well before patting them dry. If you weren't able to source baby bok choy at your local grocery store, De Witt says regular bok choy works well, too. To prep it, simply cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

Sauté the garlic and ginger

It's now time to get cooking. Add the oil to a wok over medium-low heat and add the garlic and ginger to the pan. This temperature is important — don't crank it up higher. "Make sure to cook the garlic and ginger over medium-low heat first. Garlic can burn quite quickly, so cooking at a lower temperature and stirring frequently is a must here," De Witt explains. Let the aromatics cook until they release their flavors and have slightly browned. 

If you don't have a wok, that's okay, too. "I use a carbon steel wok for stir-frying because it heats quickly and evenly and performs well over high heat, but you can also use a regular non-stick pan if that's all you have," De Witt says. 

Add the bok choy

With the ginger and garlic ready to go, add the bok choy to the pan. Crank up the heat to high, and stir-fry the veggies until their leaves start to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. 

Add the sauce and cover

Pour the sauce over the top of the bok choy and toss to coat. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the bok choy to continue to cook until tender-crisp, for about another minute. "The sauce gets added at the end of the cooking time when the bok choy is almost at the tender-crisp stage. I add a lid to the wok for a quick minute after the sauce is added to incorporate the flavors," De Witt says. 

Plate, garnish, and serve

When the bok choy is cooked to tender-crisp status, remove it from the heat and plate the veggies. Amp up the flavor combo more by pouring the remaining sauce from the wok over the top. If desired, garnish with additional sesame seeds and serve it up hot. 

"Leftovers will last for 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated by placing [them] in a pan over medium heat," says De Witt. You may even discover you like the leftovers more after the bok choy marinates in the sauce for a day or two, so feel free to double the recipe so you can plan on having leftovers to take to work the next day.

Easy Sesame Bok Choy Stir-Fry Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
This is a very simple and easy recipe, perfect for a weeknight meal. In addition, the crispness of bok choy goes well with any protein, making it a great side.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sesame bok choy stir-fry
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  1. Prepare the sauce by adding soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Mix and set aside.
  2. Slice the bok choy in half lengthwise, add it to a colander, and rinse well to remove any dirt. Pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Add oil to wok over medium-low heat. Add garlic and ginger and sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly brown.
  4. Add the bok choy to the wok. Turn the heat to high and stir fry for 1-2 minutes until the leaves wilt.
  5. Add the sauce to wok and cover with a lid for 1 minute or until the bok choy is tender crisp.
  6. Plate the bok choy and pour any remaining sauce from the wok over top. Garnish with more sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 88
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 1.7 g
Sodium 669.7 mg
Protein 2.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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