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Bok choy, also known as pok choi, is a Chinese cabbage. Instead of heads, Chinensis cultivars have green leaf blades with paler bulbous bases, producing a cluster resembling mustard greens. Southern China, East Asia, and Southeast Asia are all big fans of the Chinensis variety. They are widely grown in Northern Europe because to their winter hardiness. This group was formerly classified as its own species under the name Brassica chinensis by Carl Linnaeus and is now considered a subspecies of Brassica rapa. They belong to the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family, which is often known as the mustards, crucifers, or cabbage family.

Apart from the confusing phrase “Chinese cabbage,” the most common names for the chinensis type in North America are simply bok choy (Cantonese for “white vegetable”) or siu bok choy (Cantonese, for “small white vegetable”; as opposed to dai bok choy meaning “big white vegetable” which refers to the larger Napa cabbage). Pak choi, bok choi, and pak choy are all variations of the same word. The word pak choi is used in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Chinese chard, Chinese mustard, celery mustard, and spoon cabbage are less often used descriptive English names.

Many transcribed names in Australia have been reclassified to relate to specific cultivars by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. They’ve also coined the term buk choy to refer to a type of cabbage that’s unique from pak choy.

qng cài is a common name in Mandarin Chinese (literally “green vegetable”).

Although the phrase is pronounced “baak choi” in Cantonese, Mandarin speakers pronounce the identical letters “bái cài” and use it to refer to Napa cabbage, which they refer to as “Chinese cabbage” in English.

Pichay or petsay in Tagalog refers to the traditional white-stemmed type in the Philippines, but the Shanghai green bok choy is simply known to as bokchoy or singkang.

What’s on the label? Traditional real bok choy (Chinese: ; lit.’small white vegetable’) and Shanghai bok choy (Chinese: ; lit. ‘Shanghai green’) are two types of bok choy. Regular bok choy is more costly and contains dark crinkly colored leaves and stem sections that are white and crisp in texture, making it better for Cantonese cookery, stir fries, and basic or raw dishes. Shanghai bok choy is more widely available in most American markets and has milder tasting spoon-shaped leaves with jade green stems rather than white stems. Shanghai bok choy has a less crisp texture and can become slimy if overdone, although it can be used in many cooking applications when real bok choy is unavailable.

Bok choy is 95 percent water, 2% carbs, 1% protein, and less than 1% fat when eaten raw (table). Raw bok choy provides 54 kilojoules (13 kilocalories) of food energy in a 100-gram (3+12-ounce) reference serving, and is a rich source (20 percent or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin A (30 percent DV), vitamin C (54 percent DV), and vitamin K (44 percent DV), while providing folate, vitamin B6, and calcium in moderate amounts (10″17 percent DV) in a 100-gram (3+12-ounce (see table).

Glucosinolates are found in bok choy. Although some chemicals have been shown to prevent cancer in modest doses, they can be hazardous to humans in large levels, especially in those who are already sick. In 2009, an old diabetic woman who had been eating 1 to 1.5 kilograms (2 lb 3 oz to 3 lb 5 oz) of raw bok choy each day to manage her diabetes developed hypothyroidism due to diabetes-related factors, resulting in myxedema coma. Raw bok choy produces an enzyme that can impede the absorption of iodine when ingested in significant amounts over time, according to a case report published by her treating physicians.

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