You can steam bok choy in the microwave within minutes, and when you top with a spicy soy dressing, it's downright delicious!
To make this quick, 5-minute spicy bok choy, we prepare it the easy way: we steam it in the microwave. And this quick weeknight side dish packs a TON of flavor since it's topped with a dressing made of soy sauce, sambal, ginger and olive oil. If you haven't had sambal sauce, it's very similar to sriracha, but doesn't contain sugar.
At your local store, you'll likely find baby bok choy and the larger bok choy in the produce section. You can use either one in this dish. We typically use baby bok choy since it isn't quite as large.
Since microwaves heat differently, you will need to monitor the bok choy for doneness after a few minutes. It’s important to stop steaming the bok choy as soon as the stems are just tender. The leaves will be tender and wilted, which is what you want. If you steam the bok choy too long, then the stems will turn mushy (as opposed to being tender-crisp).
If you like the spicy soy dressing, then you should check out our Spicy Soy Salmon. We hope you enjoy this side dish as much as we do!
Baby bok choy: We like to use baby bok choy in this recipe since it's smaller and easily fits on a microwaveable plate. However, you can use a larger bok choy and simply tear into chunks to fit on a plate.
Extra-virgin olive oil: We use olive oil in the spicy soy dressing, but you could replace with avocado oil if desired.
Soy sauce: Soy sauce is part of the spicy soy dressing that we drizzle over the top. We use tamari, which is gluten-free, but you could also use regular soy sauce or coconut aminos.
Sambal oelek: Sambal adds a spicy-heat to the dressing. You may also use Sriracha, but it's slightly higher in carbs.
Minced ginger: Ginger is a key ingredient that adds depth to the sauce. We mince with a microplane grater.
How to Make
Here's how to make steamed bok choy in the microwave:
STEP 1: Cut off root portion, about one inch up from the bottom. Remove each stalk from the core. Wash leaves and stems and dry well.
STEP 2: On a large microwave-safe plate, lay bok choy next to one another and in a single layer.
STEP 3: Cover the plate with a several layers of damp paper towels. Microwave on high for two minutes. Then, check for doneness. Continue to heat in 30-second increments until done. Remember, stop steaming the bok choy as soon as the stems are just tender (you do not want mushy stems!)
STEP 4: With tongs, pick up bok choy from microwave-safe plate and lightly shake to remove any excess water. Place in a serving bowl and drizzle with the spicy soy dressing. Use tongs to toss the bok choy with dressing. Then, it's ready to serve!
At your local store, you'll likely find baby bok choy and the larger bok choy in the produce section. If not, you can likely find it at specialty or Asian grocers.
Yes, it's very low in carbs and keto-friendly. According to the USDA, one cup of shredded bok choy (70 grams) is less than 1 net carb.
Sambal is a spicy chili sauce that originates from Indonesia. It's somewhat similar to Sriracha or other Asian chili sauces/pastes, but it has no added sugar. Because of this, we prefer to use this chili sauce in low-carb and keto recipes.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Steamed Bok Choy in the Microwave with Spicy Soy Sauce
- 2 heads baby bok choy, roughly 1 pound
- 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Tamari
- ½ to 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- Prepare bok choy: Cut off root portion of bok choy, about one inch up from the bottom. Remove each stalk from the core. Wash leaves and stems and dry well.
- Microwave: On a large microwave-safe plate, lay bok choy next to one another and in a single layer. Cover the plate with a several layers of damp paper towels. Microwave on high for two minutes. Check for doneness. Continue to heat in 30-second increments until done. Stems should be tender-crisp and not mushy,
- Make spicy soy dressing: While bok choy is steaming in microwave, whisk together soy sauce, sambal, olive oil and minced ginger in a small bowl.
- Plate and serve: With tongs, pick up bok choy from plate and lightly shake to remove any excess water. Place in a serving bowl and drizzle with the spicy soy dressing. Use tongs to toss bok choy with dressing. Serve while still warm.