Baby Bok Choy with Garlic (清炒小白菜)

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic (清炒小白菜)

There are a couple types of “bok choy.” Some have thick white stems with dark green leaves, and others have more tender light green stems with smoother green leaves. For this recipe, I recommend using green bok choy, often marketed as Shanghai or baby bok choy, as the small heads are harvested earlier and are more tender.

Makes about 4 servings.


  • 1 pound baby bok choy
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • salt and white pepper, to taste
  • pinch of sugar


Trim the bottoms off of each head of bok choy, and split into halves or quarters. Try to keep all of the pieces relatively uniform so they cook evenly. You can leave the baby bok choy whole if they’re very small and tender.

Wash bok choy thoroughly with cold water two to three times. An easy way to do this is to use a large basin or sink to rinse and swirl around the bok choy, letting them soak for a few minutes before draining and washing again. Shake off the excess water after the final rinse and transfer to a colander to drain. Drain the bok choy well as they will release quite a bit of water during the cooking process.

Heat a wok over high heat until smoking, and add 2 tablespoons oil. Swirl oil around to coat the wok. Add the garlic and bok choy. Sauté the greens, stirring quickly to prevent the garlic from burning.

Use a folding motion to turn the bok choy or use tongs if you find it easier. Once the greens begin to wilt, about 30 seconds, add salt, pepper, and sugar. How long you cook the bok choy from here is all personal preference. I usually cook them a bit longer for a softer texture but if you prefer them bit more crisp, you can reduce the cooking time. Plate and serve immediately.