How to Cut Bok Choy with Step-by-Step Instructions



Last Updated: Nov 2, 2021

If you’ve had any Asian dishes, then you have certainly tasted bok choy. This cruciferous vegetable, sometimes referred to as Chinese cabbage, is a common ingredient in soups, stir-fries, salads, spring rolls, and dumplings, giving any recipe a fresh and delicious crunch.

Whether it is the white-stemmed variety with crinkly leaves or the one with green stems and rounded leaves, the best part is that both the stalks and the leaves of bok choy can be eaten either raw or cooked. Although, cooking the entire vegetable improves the taste.

If you’re wondering how to cut bok choy for your recipes, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we show you how to cut bok choy in various cuts and sizes.

How to prep bok choy

Just like other leafy greens, bok choy needs to be washed thoroughly between the leaves to remove any hidden dirt and pathogens.

Simply wash bok choy under running water or place it in a dish filled with water and clean between the stalks. Drain, pat dry, and then you are ready to cut.

Some people wash bok choy after making the first cut, which you will see below.

How to cut bok choy in halves or quarters

bok choy cut into halves.

For some recipes, you need bok choy cut in halves. To cut in halves (or quarters), see below:

  • Place the bok choy on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut it lengthwise into two halves. Start at the white base and end with the leaves. If you haven’t already washed the bok choy, you then need to clean the vegetable to get rid of the dirt.
  • If you want to use bok choy halves in your recipe, then simply trim the base, making sure the leaves don’t separate. This method is often used for baby bok choy.
  • If you’re using more mature bok choy, then take each half and slice again through the middle. You will end up with bok choy quarters. Remember to trim the base.

How to cut bok choy into leaves

Many Asian recipes use whole bok choy leaves in their dishes. To do this:

  • Place bok choy on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut the base of the vegetable. Cut where the leaves come together at the base, about 1in from the bottom. This should separate the leaves and remove the tough part of the stalk.
  • Next, separate the leaves by pulling them apart. Discard any leaves that are discolored or tough.
  • If you haven’t washed the bok choy already, you can place the leaves in a dish of cold water or rinse under running water to clean the leaves. Drain and pat dry before cooking.

How to chop bok choy into rectangles

Chopped bok choy is great for stir-fries and sauteing. Here’s how to chop it:

  • Pile the leaves on top of each other (a few at a time) and slice in the middle lengthwise, starting stalk-side, into two halves. You can even cut into thirds if you like.
  • Turn the bunch around and chop across at approximately 1in intervals.

How to cut bok choy into smaller pieces

Boy choy pieces in a frying pan

Need small pieces of bok choy? You’ll want to chop it as follows:

  • Take bok choy halves and place them one on top of the other, keeping the leaves on one side and the stalk on the other.
  • Cut lengthwise through the two halves.
  • Bunch the cut sections together, all aligned in the same direction (leaves on one side, stalks on the other side), and hold them together. You may use a tiny piece of string to tie the bunch together while you work. Although, be careful not to cut the string when you dice.
  • Starting at the base of the stalk, angle your knife at 45° and start slicing, working your way up.
  • Once you have reached the top, angle your knife at a 45° angle in the opposite direction and cut again. Cutting at a 45° angle increases surface area (reduces the wavy texture of the leaves) so that it cooks easily, as it will be in contact with the heat.
  • Once you have chopped through the section, repeat for other sections. Separate leaves, as they will tend to stick together.

How to slice bok choy

There are a few different methods to slice bok choy. Here is an easy one:

  • Cut bok choy into leaves as shown in the method above. Pile the leaves together with stalks on one side.
  • Instead of cutting lengthwise into two halves, simply cut through the leaves crosswise to cut them into slices.
  • Another method of slicing bok choy is to make clean cuts at a 45° angle, starting at the base all the way to the top of the leaves.

Shredding bok choy leaves

Also known as the chiffonade method, shredding is another method to produce thin slices. To shred, follow this method:

  • Start by stacking bok choy leaves together at a height of about 1-2in.
  • Roll the stack, starting with the leaves until you reach the stalk. You may use a string to tie the roll loosely so that it stays together.
  • Hold the roll firmly with one hand and slice across the roll. This way, you will get thin slices. You can also vary the intervals between cuts to get thicker or thinner slices.

Mincing bok choy

Mincing produces tiny sections of bok choy that cooks quickly. Here is what you should do to mince:

  • After shredding the bok choy, stack the strip together.
  • Use a large knife, preferably one with a rectangular blade like a Santoku knife, and place it on one end of the bok choy bunch.
  • Place one hand on the handle of the knife and the other on the blunt edge on the other end.
  • Using the point as a pivot at the top end of the knife, move the knife up and down with the help of your hand at the top. Move the blade through the bunch in this way.
  • Of course, if this technique sounds too technical, you can always make nice small cuts right across the bunch using a regular kitchen knife.

Cooking with bok choy

Now that you know how to cut bok choy start cooking recipes like stir-fried baby bok choy with Canadian bacon, shrimp with Chinese greens, Hoisin chicken with bok choy, or Vietnamese vegetable pho.


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