It was the end of a day of appointments, non-stop rains and as I walked into the house, I could only think of one thing to cook quickly for dinner: Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Ground Pork. I had purchased a heap of fresh baby bok choys from the Asian market and couldn’t wait to cook them.
This vegetable is a type of Chinese cabbage. They look similar to our Filpino pechay, a type of cabbage grown in the Philippines. Baby bok choys are mini versions of the regular bok choy. In some Asian markets, they are labeled as pak choy or pok choi.
The Baby Bok Choy is harvested earlier and thus have a sweeter flavor and more tender leaves. To me, since they are shorter, are faster to slice and prep. The smaller bundles are easy to grab and add to different dishes: Pancit bihon or canton, Chicken Mami soup, Nilagang Baka or Nilagang Baboy stews, Chop Suey and many more Filipino dishes.
In my childhood home in Tarlac, my father used to grow pechay (a larger, longer type of cabbage) in our backyard. I would go along with my dad to the back of our house when he harvested the pechay, and he made me carry a few. From a child’s eyes, I was fascinated by the long, dark green leaves that seemed like large petals. Later, my mother would cook them in basic guisado (sautéed) dishes for lunch and dinner.
In my American kitchen, as I stir-fried the ingredients in the skillet, I marveled at the vivid sight of the crisp, jade green shreds. The sweet, silky bok choy blended well with the pork flavored in soy sauce and piercing citrus-flavored calamansi. This was a wholesome entree which I knew would be on my menu constantly.
Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Pork
- large skillet or wok
- Instant Pot multi-cooker
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 whole onion sliced
- 1/2 pound lean ground pork
- 1 whole medium-sized carrot peeled, sliced
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons calamansi or lemon juice
- 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth or use water
- 1 pound baby bok choy hard bottoms removed, sliced in shreds about 2-inches length (about 4 cups, shredded)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
To prepare the Baby Bok Choy:
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the bottom end of the bok choy stem. You don't have to trim the whole thing. Simply slice off about 1/4 inch of the end stem. Wash the bok choy pieces in running water. Drain on a colander. Slice in shreds. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, pour the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, add the garlic and onions and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes till fragrant.
- Add the ground pork and carrots. Blend with the garlic and onions. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes till the pork starts to brown.
- Pour the soy sauce and calamansi (or lemon juice). Add the broth. Mix the ingredients well.Cover and cook the meat for 10 minutes.
- Add the bok choy. Toss to coat with other ingredients well. Season with salt and black pepper. Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes more till leaves wilt a little. Serve warm with rice.
How to cook the Instant Pot Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Pork
- Click Saute on the keypad. Add the vegetable oil to the inside pot. When oil is hot enough in 1 to 2 minutes, add the garlic and onions and stir-fry for a minute.Add the pork and carrots. Stir to brown the pork for 2 minutes.Click Cancel to turn off Saute function.Pour the soy sauce, calamansi (or lemon) juice, and an additional 1 cup of broth or water (added to the amount of broth in this recipe). Season with salt and pepper.Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Set the steam release handle to a Sealing Position.Click Manual. Cook on High Pressure for 7 minutes. When buzzer sounds, do a Quick Release. Soon as the float pin drops, it is safe to unlock and open the lid. Add and mix in the baby bok choy. Close and lock the lid again. Press Keep Warm and let the leaves wilt for 5 minutes. Click Cancel to turn off. Serve warm with rice.
- When buying baby bok choy or bok choy, look for sturdy white stalks and firm, dark, green leaves. When you get home, keep these refrigerated in a ziplock bag. They can stay fresh for 3 to 4 days. Baby Bok Choy is also known as Shanghai Bok Choy, Shanghai qing, Chinese pak choi green, mei qing choi. The large, regular Bok Choy is also known as nai baical, buk choy or Chinese white cabbage. Nutrition experts cite these green, leafy vegetables are high in nutrients.
Did you make this recipe?
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.