Skip to Content

12 Tasty Bok Choy Substitutes to Spice Up Your Meals

Need a bok choy substitute for your recipe? You can employ several other vegetables for your favorite Asian recipes.

Bok choy, a healthful Asian green, may not always be accessible in your grocery store. I often mix up my favorite greens or choose a veggie with a similar flavour as an alternative.

Fortunately, there are some options that can give your meals a comparable taste and texture.

Read on for some healthful bok choy substitutes whether you’re a seasoned chef or a newbie!

Bok Choy Substitutes to Spice Up Your Meals featured image | Girl Meets Food

What is bok choy?

Asian cuisine relies on bok choy for its flavor and nutrients. Originally from China, it often goes by the name Chinese cabbage or pak choi.

This cruciferous vegetable is now used in many worldwide recipes. The crisp, yet soft texture and mild, sweet flavor make it a welcome addition to many dishes.

Bok choy is healthful and yummy!

This vegetable’s vitamins A, C, and K may support skin, bones, and immunity. In addition, its fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron content may aid several bodily functions.

12 best bok choy substitutes

Three bok choy veggies | Girl Meets Food

Let’s break down some of the best alternatives for bok choy in Asian dishes.

  • Baby bok choy

If your grocery shop doesn’t have ordinary bok choy, try baby bok choy (Shanghai). Baby bok choy is tiny and delicate – perfect for replacing bok choy in any dish.

Baked baby bok choy with tofu and peanut sauce is one of the best recipes I’ve ever tested for my substitute posts!

  • Choy sum

Choy sum, also known as Chinese flowering cabbage, is similar to bok choy. Its green leaves are tender and sweet, making it a great substitute.

I tried it in a spicy chow mein dish which was quite similar to the original bok choy recipe. Choy sum adds a hint of sweetness – delicious!

Baby bok choy and choy sum are both bok choy relatives!

  • Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage’s mild flavor and texture make it a good bok choy replacement. It’s sweeter than bok choy, but still perfect for any dish!

From my experience, napa cabbage stir-fry tastes very similar to the original bok choy recipe. It features plenty of other veggies and a delicious garlicky sauce.

You can substitute napa cabbage in many other recipes as well.

  • Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is rich in vitamins A, C, and K. It tastes harsh but may replace bok choy in many dishes. Swiss chard is great in soups, stir-fries, and sandwich wraps.

Sautéed garlicky swiss chard is an excellent alternative to bok choy. I love it for its deep green color and mild, sweet taste.

While we’re on the subject check out the swiss chard substitutes to add variety to your diet.

  • Kale

Due to its health benefits, kale has recently become very trendy. It tastes somewhat harsh but can replace bok choy in many dishes.

I love kale in soups so I tried to substitute it in a ginger bok choy soup with noodles. I was surprised at how good it tasted in combo with ginger.

If you love kale, this list of kale alternatives is a treasure trove for its fans. Check them out!

  • Broccoli rabe

Broccoli Rabe (rapini) is a leafy vegetable with a bitter taste. Its texture resembles bok choy and can be used in soups, salads, and stir-fries.

  • Tatsoi

Tatsoi is a lush green vegetable often used in Asian cuisine. It has a bok choy flavor when used in soups, salads, and stir-fries. Tatsoi is also rich in vitamins A and C.

  • Chinese celery (nan ling)

The taste and texture of nan ling choy are very subtle. It’s a staple of Asian cuisine and a welcome addition to Western salads.

When compared to bok choy, nan ling choy has a somewhat sweeter flavor. It’s mostly used in soups or stir-fries.

  • Chinese broccoli (gai lan)

The leafy green vegetable used in Chinese cuisine is sometimes known as Chinese broccoli (gai lan). It looks like bok choy and has a slightly bitter flavor.

You can use Chinese broccoli in savory dishes like stir-fries, soups, and salads.

If you like an earthy peppery taste in your meals, it’s worth diving into these arugula alternatives and perfect endive replacements! In addition, Chinese broccoli also has several substitutes that are worth your attention.

  • Collard greens

Popular in Southern cuisine, these greens have a stronger flavor than bok choy, but can replace it in heartier dishes. Collard greens are healthy vegetables that provide vitamins A, C, and K.

I tried replacing bok choy with collard greens in a salad with sesame dressing. My verdict is that they are equally delicious!

  • Beet greens

Beet greens are a wonderful substitute for bok choy because of their delicate flavor. They’re perfect for salads, soups, and stir-fries. Beet greens are rich in vitamins A, C, and K.

  • White cabbage

In both Europe and Asia, white cabbage is a common vegetable. It’s a fantastic bok choy alternative due to its mild flavor and crunchy texture. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K.

Since white cabbage is easier to get than bok choy, it’s a more common ingredient in my kitchen. It tastes amazing sauteed with lemon and garlic, just like bok choy!

Bok choy substitute FAQs

Two bok choy veggies on a cloth | Girl Meets Food
How many calories are in bok choy?

A 100g serving of raw bok choy provides only 13 calories.

Can I replace bok choy with spinach?

Spinach isn’t the best replacement for bok choy because it has a milder flavor and texture.

What’s the cheapest alternative to bok choy?

One of the cheapest alternatives to bok choy is kale. Another affordable option is white cabbage.

What are some Chinese dishes made with bok choy?

Some Chinese dishes made with bok choy are hot and sour soup, egg drop soup, and Kung Pao chicken.

What’s the best substitute for bok choy in soup?

The best substitute for bok choy in soup is baby bok choy. Other great options are tatsoi, Chinese celery (nan ling), and Chinese broccoli (gai lan). 

Can bok choy be used as a substitute for napa cabbage?

Bok choy can be used as a substitute for napa cabbage. When switching from bok choy to napa cabbage, cooking durations and spices may need to be altered.

BOTTOM LINE: recipes can employ some excellent substitutes for bok choy. You can get the same texture and flavor using Napa cabbage, Swiss chard, kale, baby bok choy, and many other vegetables. So you can make your favorite Asian meals anytime!

How did it go? I hope you’ve found some alternative vegetables for your favorite recipes!

Are you an Asian cuisine lover? These daikon radish substitutes may provide you with more ideas!