Delicious and vibrant, bok choy (also known as “pak choi”) is a crisp, cool-season green harvested in spring and fall. It can easily tolerate a light frost, which improves its flavor! Learn how to plant, grow, and care for bok choy.
About Bok Choy
Bok choy are Brassicas, members of the cabbage family which also includes cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Other common names include pak choi, pok choi, and Chinese cabbage. Their botanical name is Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis. They don’t form heads and grow stalks from a bulbous base, similar to celery. The stalks and the leaves are edible and are common ingredients in Asian-inspired cuisine.
Bok choy is commonly purchased in the grocery or at the farmers’ market as full-sized or baby bok choy but they are the same plant. Baby bok choy is harvested when the plant is younger, giving it a tender and sweeter taste. Use baby bok choy in soups and salads and the larger, more sturdy plants in recipes like stir fry that require longer cooking.
These plants are biennials and can be prone to bolting. Bolting in the first year is commonly caused by cold weather followed by a period of rising temperatures, tricking the plant into thinking it has gone through a winter. Dry soil can also cause bolting, as can sustained hot summer weather.