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Definition: bok choy from The Macquarie Dictionary

a vegetable, Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis, with white stalks and dark green leaves; celery cabbage.

Etymology: Chinese

Summary Article: BOK CHOY
From Cambridge World History of Food


This member of the cabbage family is an East Asian native and a mainstay in the diets of the region. But bok choy (Brassica rapa) is also available in the markets of Europe and North America. It is sometimes called Chinese cabbage or Chinese mustard cabbage, which leads to confusion with the real Chinese cabbage (napa). In appearance, its nonheading stalks and leaves (both are eaten) resemble Swiss chard, or celery without the ribs. The taste of the stalks is something like that of romaine lettuce, whereas the leaves have a definite cabbage-like flavor. Bok choy is a favorite among the stir-fry vegetables and, in addition to being a fine source of vitamins A and C, also provides some calcium.

Common names and synonyms: Celery cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Chinese mustard cabbage.

See in addition: “Cruciferous and Green Leafy Vegetables,” Part II, Section C, Chapter 5.

© Cambridge University Press 2000

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