Asian fare,  gluten free,  vegan,  vegetables + sides,  vegetarian

Garlicky + Peppery Baby Bok Choy

This is an uber-clean, heart-healthy dish that will make your body sing!  Infusing the olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes provides a robust, pure flavor bath for your bok choy.  Top this delicious green with intensified toasted sesame seeds and yowza! There is a wholelotta love going on!

Bok choy is a spoon-shaped varietal of cabbage. But unlike a traditional head of cabbage, bok choy is more of a cluster. Its crisp and sweet flavor make it an easy complement to most any spice, as it absorbs the flavors of the seasoning around it.

In this recipe, assertive garlic and red pepper flakes on the wilted, gentle leaves of the baby bok choy perfectly juxtapose flavors and textures.

In this bok choy stir fry, add the smashed garlic to cold oil in a cold pan or wok. As the pan and oil heat up, the garlic will gently sizzle. This slow, sustained contact of the aromatics with the oil will yield a deeper infused garlicky + peppery bok choy.

This recipe is easily modified for vegan or vegetarian diets by substituting rice wine for the broth. Use gluten free soy sauce if you are trying to avoid gluten.

Baby bok choy is delicious all by itself (yes, I sometimes eat just bok choy for dinner) or as a side with pork tenderloin and steamed rice.

The herby notes in New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (yum!) pair well with this dish.



If you try this gloriously clean Garlicky + Peppery Baby Bok Choy, I’d love to hear about it!  Leave a comment below and tag #nakedepicurean on Instagram so we can celebrate together!

Garlicky + Peppery Baby Bok Choy (for 2)

  • 1    tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2    heads of baby bok choy
  • 6    big cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2    tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½+ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4    tablespoons chicken broth, separated
  • 1    teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½   teaspoon of cornstarch
  • Sea salt, to taste


1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan, frequently shaking pan until seeds are golden brown and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

2. Trim the bok choy stem (cut just the end) to ensure even cooking. Separate the bok choy leaves and rinse thoroughly under running water. Cut lengthwise in half (or in quarters if large).

3. Use the side of a knife to smash the unpeeled garlic cloves, then remove their skins.

4.Pour sesame oil in a large unheated pan. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Then turn heat to medium and allow to cook 2-5 minutes or until the garlic’s edges have a golden color. DO NOT let the garlic burn.

5. Add 2 tablespoons broth and soy sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer.

6. Add the bok choy and a pinch of salt; toss bok choy to coat. Once the bok choy begins to wilt, cook 1-2 more minutes.

7. In a medium bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the remaining broth. Stir into the pan with the bok choy and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bok choy is just tender and the broth evaporates a bit, about 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Transfer the bok choy to a serving dish. Drizzle with any juice left in the pan and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

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