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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

What the Heck Is Bok Choy?

What the Heck Is Bok Choy?

Bok choy is one of many names given to a popular variety of Chinese cabbage. Also called Chinensis, Chinese chard, Chinese mustard, celery mustard, and spoon cabbage, among other names, bok choy is a smooth, dark green, leafy vegetable with pale succulent stems.

First cultivated in ancient China, bok choy is now grown throughout Europe and North America, where it has become a favorite crop due to its high tolerance for cold. It is traditionally used in soups and stir-fries, due to its hardy, crisp texture. Unlike other members of the cabbage family, bok choy has a delicate, sweet flavor. It is a low-calorie food that is rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium.

Here are a few quick and easy recipes to help you enjoy the delicious flavor of bok choy:

Bok Choy Salad

1 head bok choy, chopped
1 bunch green onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cp slivered almonds
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package ramen noodles

In a large bowl, toss together bok choy and onions and set aside. Sauté the butter, sesame seeds, cashews, and almonds, then add to the bok choy mixture. Mix together vinegar, oil, and sugar, and pour over the bok choy mixture. By hand, break the dry ramen noodles into small pieces and sprinkle them into the bowl. Cover the bowl and shake well before serving.

Sweet and Sour Bok Choy

3 tbsp olive oil
1 head bok choy, cut into 1” pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced ginger root
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 sliced sweet onion
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Heat oil in large skillet, and add bok choy and onion. Stir over high heat for one minute. Mix sugar, vinegar and ginger, add to the skillet, and mix well. Cover and steam for one minute. Combine soy sauce and cornstarch with 1/2 cup water, and add to skillet. Cook, stirring continuously, until thickened.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.