Chop off enough of the base of the bok choy plant before washing so that stalks can be cleaned individually. Rinse stalks and leaves under running water, using a vegetable brush if they are especially dirty at the base of the stalk.
Bok choy stalks can be consumed raw with dip, or chopped and used in salads. Bok choy has a high water content and becomes limp very quickly upon cooking. It should be cooked very quickly over high temperature so that the leaves become tender and the stalks stay crisp. In Chinese stir-fried dishes and soups, bok choy is added toward the end of the cooking process. Since the leaves cook much more quickly than the stalks, it’s a good idea to add the stalks first and then the leaves about a minute later. Cut the stalks into 1/2-inch (1.25cm) pieces before cooking.
Cook stems in salted water for four minutes and leaves for two to three minutes.
Allow pieces to steam for about six minutes, or until tender-crisp.
Stir-fry the stalks over high heat for about six minutes and the leaves for about three minutes, until stalks are tender-crisp and leaves are just wilted.
Bok choy goes well with the flavors of soy sauce, hot peppers, and toasted sesame oil.