My quick and easy recipe for bok choy is roasted in a flavorful garlic soy-based sauce and finished with crunchy toppings for perfectly unforgettable taste and texture. You'll want to make this veggie side dish again and again!
Roasting is my favorite hands-off method for meal prepping vegetables for the week and, although bok choy is commonly enjoyed steamed or in soups, it also tastes amazing with the roasting treatment. Let's get into the details.
What does bok choy taste like?
Bok choy has a mild green flavor and springy texture. It's watery and slightly crunchy. Definitely not as crisp as celery but not as soft as spinach. If you've ever had cabbage or brussels sprouts, bok choy will likely taste familiar. It's actually related to Chinese cabbage. Roasting takes bok choy to the perfect balance of crisp and tender and the sauce we'll make for this recipe has layers of savory, umami, spicy, bright, nutty, and sweet flavor notes.
What You'll Need for this Recipe
- Avocado Oil
- Baby Bok Choy
- Black Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Lemon Juice
- Sea Salt
- Sesame Seeds
- Sesame Oil
- Soy Sauce
Most of these ingredients go in the sauce. The basics are the bok choy, salt and pepper, and oil. I like to use avocado oil for its higher smoke point, since we’re roasting at 400 degrees.
Can I make substitutions in this recipe? Absolutely. You can use toasted sesame oil or regular sesame oil interchangeably here and either color sesame seeds work for garnishing but I personally like to mix both. Fresh garlic and ginger will give the strongest and truest flavor to the sauce but powdered works in a pinch. And use either sliced or chopped almonds--or even whole almonds to chop yourself. Swap out honey for the sweetener of your choosing or omit sweetener altogether, if you need to.
Tips & Tools for this Recipe
Grab a sharp knife and a cutting board to prepare the bok choy. I also recommend a colander or salad spinner for cleaning. You'll need a small bowl and spoon to mix up the sauce and a microplane or grater for the ginger. Lastly, grab a sheet pan for the roasting part.
How to store roasted bok choy? Store your cooked veg refrigerated in an airtight container. It will keep for up to five days this way.
Can I freeze this recipe? You can freeze cooked bok choy in an airtight container for up to one year! Keep in mind that the texture will be different once thawed and reheated. For this reason, I don't really recommend freezing my roasted baby bok choy.
Is bok choy PCOS friendly? Absolutely! This roasted bok choy and sauce is a great side dish to have in your hormone-balancing arsenal for many reasons. Firstly, bok choy is part of the leafy green family, which is known to support healthy digestion, fight inflammation, and provide ample fiber, along with other nutrients. Because of the sesame, this is also a great seed cycling recipe that provides some protein, too.
How to Clean Bok Choy
It's best to cut bok choy before cleaning it in order to more easily get between the layered stems.
- Cut the bok choy into quarters, lengthwise, leaving the ends intact so that the stems don't separate.
- Rinse each piece in cold water, careful to get it between each stem.
- Pat dry or use a salad spinner to remove excess water.
Pro tip: Getting bok choy dry before roasting is an important step to avoid soggy texture! Make sure to pat it dry so the leaves can get a bit crisp.
Preparing Bok Choy for Roasting
How to prepare bok choy for roasting? Once you've cut the bok choy into quarters and cleaned it, prepare the sheet pan with non stick spray. In order to leave at least one inch of space between each piece of bok choy, you will need a full sheet pan for this recipe. Alternatively, you can roast in batches.
Lay the bok choy on the pan with cut sides facing up OR lay one cut side flat on the pan surface (Both options pictured above). The first option is best for getting the sauce and flavor even throughout the stems but the second option gives a nice caramelization, so it depends on what you prefer. Or you can alternate! Which is what I do. When roasting cut side down, I use less of the sauce for roasting and just add the extra when serving.
Making the Savory Garlic Sauce
Speaking of the sauce, it's quick and lends layers of flavor to this process. The prep work needed here is grating the ginger, juicing a lemon, and mincing or grating the garlic. Mix up the sauce in about five minutes then drizzle a bit over top of each quarter of bok choy. Make sure to get sauce on the dark green leaves. This is what gives you crispy roasted bok choy leaves! Reserve some of the sauce for serving.
How to Serve
To serve cooked bok choy, drizzle the remaining sauce over top then garnish with sesame seeds and almonds.
What to serve with bok choy? I like this recipe with roasted fish, chicken, or beef and sometimes toss the bok choy into my wonton power bowls. It's versatile and pairs well with a variety of dishes. Here are a few ideas for you.
Roasted Baby Bok Choy Recipe
Roasted Baby Bok Choy with Garlic Sauce
- 2 pounds baby bok choy
- 1 one-inch knob of ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon honey optional
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- sesame seeds
- ¼ cup almonds whole, chopped, or sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick oil and set aside.
- Cut bok choy into quarters, lengthwise, leaving the ends in tact so that the stems don't separate. Rinse in cold water, making sure to get between the stems. Thoroughly pat dry then place on prepared sheet pan.
- Peel and grate ginger into a bowl. Mince or grate garlic and add to bowl. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon.
- Add soy sauce, sesame oil, avocado oil, honey, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and black pepper to bowl. Mix vigorously to combine.
- Drizzle sauce over top of each piece of bok choy, making sure to get sauce on the dark green leaves. Reserve about two spoonfuls of sauce for serving.
- Transfer pan to oven and roast for about 10 minutes. Bok choy will be fork tender and very slightly browned. Leaves will be dried and crisp.
- If using whole almonds, chop them into small pieces while bok choy roasts. Garnish finished dish with almonds, sesame seeds, and more sauce, if desired.