Bok Choy is a Chinese cabbage with a stalk, and the leaves are on top. It looks a bit awkward compared to regular cabbage, so when you are cooking ramen, you may wonder how you cut the bok choy and prepare it?
Cut the bok choy for ramen during the simmering step of the broth. Take the stems and cut them off, then into thin strips. Then take the leaves, roll them up, and cut them into thin strips across the length of the leaves.
It is important not to put too much bok choy in the ramen. Too much is not good for a person to eat. We will explain why and how to prep the bok choy. Read on to find out more details throughout this article.
Cutting Bok Choy and Prepping Ramen
Ramen is a Japanese soup with noodles made for quick and easy serving. Ramen originated in China. Bok choy is something people like to add to ramen.
People who have tried bok choy say it adds flavor close to cabbage with a bit of sweetness to it.
Even though there are specific ways to cut and cook it, the entire plant is edible. When cutting the bok choy, always cut the stems off first. It will take several cuts lengthways, then cut across. Wash the leaves under cold water, and they are ready to cut.
The leaves are easy to roll and cut. Roll them up lengthways and cut two to three slices for each leaf crossway. Come back and cut across several times to make smaller pieces into strips.
Rolling up the leaves makes them easier to digest. They are served raw in salads, cooked with ramen, or in a stir fry and can be boiled or steamed.
How to Cook Bok Choy and Ramen
There is no set time for how long to cook the bok choy. The stems need a bit longer to cook than the leaves to get the right texture. As the broth is simmering, add the stems first. Add the leaves, the ramen, and any other veggies of your choice a few minutes after the stems are placed in the broth.
The best way to tell the bok choy and the noodles are cooked is by sticking a fork through the leaves’ rolls. If it slides through without resistance, the leaves are done. Please be advised that the thicker the leaves roll, the longer it will take to cook.
The leaves will also turn a darker shade of green. The noodles will also be tender when they are ready to serve. It also depends on the other veggies added to the mix.
If you want to make something authentic, here are some spices to add to the soup.
- White pepper
- Star anise
- Curry powder or cumin (either or not both)
- Red chile flakes
Other ideas to add to ramen will add to the color, flavor, and texture.
Try adding these to the mix:
- A lime wedge or furikake
- A sprinkle of toasted sesame oil
- Your choice of fresh herbs
- Crushed chilies
- Sesame seeds
- Crumble up some bacon
Slowly simmer everything until it reaches the texture you desire. If everything stays at a low heat to simmer, it will come out perfectly.
Remember, you are in the driver’s seat at the pot of ramen. Once you try this, it will force you to throw the instant stuff back on the shelf.
Homemade Ramen Vs. Instant Ramen
There is no comparison in flavor or texture when comparing anything homemade to instant. Ramen noodles are no exception. Many people feast on the instant version, but there are some things you should know for health reasons.
The instant version of ramen noodles contains factory-made noodles and ingredients. It is a processed food containing preservatives and exploding in saturated fat and sodium.
Everything in the homemade version is all-natural and bought separately, so you know what you are putting in the pot.
The servings in instant ramen noodles are alright for one quick meal on the go here and there. Those living off the packaging face health issues like heart disease, kidney disease, strokes, high blood pressure, headaches, and obesity.
The digestive tract also suffers. It also causes the liver to work overtime, which is not good.
The nutrients are not there in instant ramen noodles. It is known to cause eye problems and affects a person’s daily mood. All this information is proven by The American Heart Association, the FDA, and university studies.
Let’s face it. There is no way to add or remove the flavors or harmful ingredients from the instant ramen noodles.
Even the noodles are factory-made, so how do we know they are really noodles? One can only speculate. However, you can fix the homemade version any way you see fit.
Bok choy is high in valuable nutrients. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and is also low in fat, carbs, and calories. The homemade version’s health benefits are much better, especially when adding the bok choy.
A Word of Warning Concerning Bok Choy
We want to caution the public that although bok choy is healthy with its nutrients, it also has glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are reported through studies as a form of cancer prevention for some people in small doses.
However, like most food products, too much of something is not always good. It is also proven to be toxic to humans who consume bok choy in large amounts. The effects appear in people with low immune systems or severe illnesses.
Bok Choy and Baby Bok Choy: What’s the Difference?
The first difference to mention is the size. Baby bok choy is harvested earlier, so the leaves are sweeter and more tender compared to bok choy. The cut is still the same, by cutting the stem off first and rolling up the leaves similarly.
Baby bok choy is the favored among the two when it comes to green salads. If you want a sweeter flavor with ramen or any stir-fry dish, pick the baby bok choy.
What is the cause of bok choy flowering?
If the bok choy has too much water or insufficient amount, it will cause bolting. The first signs of it flowering, harvest it immediately. You can still use the leaves without flowering. They will be smaller than the rest.
Can you add bok choy to instant ramen?
Yes, you can add bok choy to instant ramen by following these steps:
Step 1: Cut the stems off of the bok choy.
Step 2: Wash the leaves and roll them up.
Step 3: Cut them across into strips.
Step 4: Boil four cups of water.
Step 5: Add the instant ramen, season packet, and bok choy.
Step 6: Cook until everything is tender.
Can I use bok choy in place of lettuce for my salad?
Yes, most people choose bok choy in place of many greens, including lettuce. Those who want a sweeter salad should use the baby bok choy. There is still a sweetness to the adult version, but not as much as the baby bok choy. It is safe to eat raw, boiled, or steamed.