Roasted Pak Choi

January 21st, 2008


There are very few things more delicious to me than perfectly roasted vegetables.  Roasting brings out so much flavor, and the texture is unparalleled, from the crispy, caramelized outer layer, to the warm, soft section underneath.  So when I saw these little heads of pak choi at the farmer’s market last week, I knew immediately what I was going to do with them.

Pak choi is a close relative of bok choi, which I have very fond memories of.  When I was in China this summer, most of the restaurants had English menus, but the English on the menus varied in quality.  Sometimes the dish was called “seasoned vegetable,” without specifying which seasoning, or which vegetable, was involved.  Other times, there was a header for “Vegetables” in English, followed by several options for vegetable dishes… in Chinese.  I don’t read or speak Chinese, so my usual strategy was to pick an option randomly, and just hope for the best.  I ended up with a lot of bok choi.

But that was ok with me.  Bok choi is healthy, versatile, and an excellent base to for delicious sauces (and mystery seasonings).  These were fantastic roasted, but I easily could have sauteed them, or even sliced them raw into a salad.  I hope I find these at the farmer’s market again, because they were absolutely wonderful.


Roasted Pak Choi

6 heads pak choi (can substitute 3 heads baby bok choi, halved)
Olive Oil
Coarse sea salt
Ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Wash pak choi.  Place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.
3. Roast pak choi for 7-8 minutes, or until leaves are wilted and caramelized and the bulbs are cooked, but still have some crunch (mine were perfectly done at 8 minutes, but my oven may not have been fully preheated when I put them in).

Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

Tags: food · side dishes

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ann // Jan 21, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Looks delicious!

  • 2 emily // Jan 21, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    i love love bok and pak choi.  well done.  i would grate some garlic and ginger on top and call it a night.  a healthy one.

  • 3 NuJoi // Jan 21, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    This looks simply wonderful.  I’ve never tried it or bok choy on my own.  Your blog is so inspirational.  I see seasame oil and red pepper flakes in my future …

  • 4 katy // Jan 21, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Ann — Thanks!

    Em — Yum, yes, absolutely.

    NuJoi — Thanks so much! And YES, once you buy sesame oil, you’ll never want to live without it again!

  • 5 Paz // Jan 21, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Wow!  Looks really good and I like that it seems easy to prepare.


  • 6 MrsPresley // Jan 21, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    i’ve never heard of pak choi….but i do love me some bok choi! that first picture is beautiful…

  • 7 sunita // Jan 22, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Katy, I love roasted veggies too…did I tell you that I also love those cutie frittatas in your last post 🙂

  • 8 shana // Jan 22, 2008 at 9:10 am

    i love bok choi and pak choi (although i probably just called it baby bok). i never thought of roasting it though, this seems like a great way to prepare it!

  • 9 katy // Jan 22, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Paz — Couldn’t be easier, seriously.  Just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn!

    MrsPresley — Thanks!  Me too!

    Sunita — Thanks!

    Shana — I thought it was baby bok choi at first too, but I actually think they’re different vegetables (I think baby bok is darker and leafier).  But I think this recipe could work with either!

  • 10 Happy Cook // Jan 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I have only had them in chinese places, but never had made them at home

  • 11 Lori // Jan 22, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Katy,
    Have you tried choy sum? If you like bok choy I think you would also like this similar vegetable. It’s really popular where I’m from (Hawaii).

  • 12 MyKitchenInHalfCups // Jan 23, 2008 at 3:10 am

    What incredible color Katy!  It looks super easy and over the top really good.

  • 13 Helen // Jan 23, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Hi Katy, I love that fresh and healthy recipe. In the meantime, I’ve tagged you! Check out my latest post ( Helen.

  • 14 emily // Jan 23, 2008 at 5:00 am

    I second the sesame oil and pepper flakes (my go-to seasonings for just about everything).  Helen, I’ve just had a visit to your blog.  It’s incredible.  I’m Katy’s sister, but am currently in Oxford and take every chance I can get to go to Burough!! it is so incredible.  I am trying to convince Katy to come visit.  Any chance you have an addiction to monmouth’s coffee like I do??

  • 15 katy // Jan 23, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Happy Cook — Me too!  As usual, though, I liked them better at home!

    Lori — I haven’t!  I will keep my eye out for it!

    Tanna — Absolutely, on both!

    Helen — Excellent!  I’ll take a look now!

    Emily — You’re so funny.  I am coming to visit, we just have to figure out logistics!

  • 16 Helen // Jan 24, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Wow thanks Emily! I’m really glad you like it. I haven’t tried Monmouth’s coffee, but thank you for the recommendation! That is so funny you live in Oxford – I lived there for 5 years before I moved to London and absolutely loved it. Katy – you must must must go to Borough!

  • 17 Mushroom Triangles with Truffle Oil | sugarlaws // Jan 30, 2008 at 9:40 am

    […] not necessarily work in every dish, even with very simple flavors.  I drizzled it one head of my roasted pak choi and nearly gagged — it was just wrong, […]

  • 18 Scott // Mar 3, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I may have a stupid question, but 450 deg. seems to hot for olive oil.  I think it is only rated at a smoking point of 350.  Any way, my question, Is 450 to hot for olive oil or should a person be using peanut oil, or safflower oil which are both rated 450 -500.  I guess if a person likes there house smelling like smoke they could use olive oil.  Enlighten me to my misconceptions about the smoke point of olive oil.
    Thank you.

  • 19 katy // Mar 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Scott — The smoking point for olive oil is somewhere between 400 and 470 degrees, depending on the type of olive oil (check out ).  I think you’re safe roasting at 400 if you’re concerned — I always roast at 450 for better caramelization, but my oven is kind of old and it’s possible it’s not really heating up all the way to 450 degrees (also, the oven drops at least 25 degrees when you open the door to put anything in, so even if it’s preheated to 450 perfectly, you’re probably only baking them at 425 since the time to roast this dish is so short).  Hope this helps!

  • 20 Mushroom Triangles with Truffle Oil | Sugarlaws // Oct 24, 2010 at 7:43 am

    […] not necessarily work in every dish, even with very simple flavors.  I drizzled it one head of my roasted pak choi and nearly gagged — it was just wrong, […]

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