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One of the oldest Chinese vegetables, Bok Choy has been cultivated in China since the fifth century A.D. and in the West since the mid-eighteenth century. Despite its ancient lineage, there still is some confusion about what exactly Bok Choy is. The name Bok Choy simply means ‘ white vegetable’ in Cantonese.
There are four basic kinds of Bok Choy, differing in shape and size but easily identified as Bok Choy by the color of the stem and the broad green leaves. All varieties are called baby Bok Choy when harvested small. Shanghai Bok Choy is the distinctive green-stemmed Bok Choy, and is usually shipped as baby Bok Choy.
Bok Choy leaves retain much of their vivid green color when cooked correctly and served promptly. Baby Bok Choy, either white- or green-stemmed, are often cooked whole or halved lengthwise, and are also good raw in salads.