Pak Choi Stir-Fried Noodles and What is Pak Choi/Bok Choi?

Stir-fried noodles are the ultimate Chinese takeout dish that can easily be made at home and won’t take longer than twenty minutes start to finish. Adding some fresh (or frozen) pak choi to the Asian-style vegetable mix elevates the dish to new heights, giving it a mild heat. Some sprinkled sesame seeds add a little extra crunch and texture. Why bother getting takeout when this is just as easy and delicious?

A packet of baby pak choi was something I bought on a whim one day when it was on sale. I didn’t know what it was or how to use it at all. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and try something new otherwise you always end up eating the same thing. Although when it comes to preparing it you will end up having to some research, as you don’t know what it tastes like or whether you shouldn’t be eating it raw. Here is some information on pak choi to help you decide whether or not to give this a go.

Pak Choi – What is it?

Pak choi, or bok choi if you are American, is a type of Chinese cabbage that doesn’t form large heads but rather smaller clusters similar to mustard greens. Due to its softer leaves and overall softer texture it is more easily digestible than many other types of cabbage. It is the most beneficial when eaten raw, containing 25 mg of vitamin C per 100 gr, which covers 25% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. It also contains folic acid, a vitamin beneficial for pregnant women, and mustard oil that supports the immune system and help prevent against infectious diseases. Causing 40 gr of CO²-emissions per 100 gr of pak choi taking into account production, transportation and storage it has a lower carbon footprint than some other imported vegetables. It is in season between June and September and can increasingly be grown in Norther Europe due to being winter-hardy. There are different varieties of pak choi known throughout Asia, with different flavour properties. Amongst the most popular varieties are baby pak choi, which has a milder flavour but overall has some heat, and Shanghai pak choi, which has a more intense flavour profile. Overall pak choi has a milder Chinese cabbage flavour with a little heat to it.

What can you do with Pak Choi and how to prepare it?

Pak choi can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Remover the outer leaves and throw them away. Remove the leaves from the stalk and wash them in water. Pat the dry with a dishtowel or remove excess water in a salad spinner. When cooking with the Pak choi remove the green part of the leaves from the lighter, harder part as they have different cooking times. Make sure to add the tender green leaves very shortly before finishing a dish as they are heat-sensitive, the lighter part can be added a little sooner. It can be frozen to use at a later date, though make sure prepare it accordingly (clean and chop it before freezing).

I really hope this information was interesting and helpful. It is definitely a great addition to any stir-fried noodles or rice. It is not super spicy, but it certainly adds a little extra heat. It is an extra step to my super easy and quick stir-fry recipe but it is well worth it. It is such an easy and delicious way to add more greens to your diet.

Pak Choi Stir-Fried Noodles

Ingredients:
• 1-2 tbl oil (coconut, sesame, peanut, olive, canola, …)
• 350 gr frozen Asian-Style vegetable mix (or whatever vegetables you have leftover, diced)
• 2 baby pak choi
• 1 packet of wok noodles (whatever you have or prefer)
• Asian-spice blend
• soy sauce
• salt
• pepper

Instructions:
1. Put a wok on high heat and add the oil.
2. When the oil is hot add the frozen vegetable mix and sauté until it has sweated out all the moisture.
3. While the vegetables are sautéing, prepare the Pak Choi by cleaning and drying the leaves. Remove the dark green part from the lighter part and slice them, keep them separate as the have different cooking times.
4. Cook the wok noodles according to the package and drain them.
5. Once the vegetables have sweat out all the moisture, add the light parts of the pak choi fry them for a few minutes whilst stirring occasionally.
6. Add the dark green pak choi and stir it in right before adding the spices and soy sauce to the vegetables and combine well.
6. Add the wok noodles about a third at a time and stir to distribute the vegetables evenly. By using a chopstick you can minimize the noodle breakage.
7. Taste it and season as needed. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top as a garnish (optional).

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