Classic Chicken and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

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Are you looking for a simple and healthy chicken bok choy stir-fry to add to your weeknight dinner rotation? I’ll show you how to properly cut bok choy for stir-fry and guide you through the steps to create a mouthwatering dish that will impress your family and friends.

Chicken with bok choy stir-fry served over rice on a black plate with chopsticks on the side.

What is Bok Choy?

Baby bok choy, also known as Shanghai bok choy, is a member of the cabbage family and is packed with vitamins and minerals. With its tender and flavorful leaves, it is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. 

Bok choy has a slightly sweet taste and crunchy texture when cooked, making it a versatile vegetable that pairs well with various flavors and sauces. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to prepare, making it an excellent choice for busy weeknights.

Baby Shanghai Bok Choy

About This Bok Choy Stir-Fry Recipe

When I was in cooking school, I took a week-long class in Chinese Cooking with Chef Ken Hom. On the final day of class, we took a walking tour of Chinatown in San Francisco where he taught us how to choose the best vegetables, condiments, fish and meats. 

I still visit my local Chinatown for sauces, spices, and sometimes more unusual vegetables and noodles, which are generally far cheaper than a chain grocery store.

One of the not-so-unusual vegetables I love to stir fry is bok choy, or the more tender baby bok choy. If you cannot find either of these, rapini, broccoli or even Napa cabbage would work as well. 

My family loved this classic stir fry bok choy and chicken and requested it again a few nights later. Double the sauce recipe and keep half in the fridge for a quick, mid-week meal. 

How to Cut Bok Choy for Stir-Fry

Before we dive into this bok choy stir fry recipe, let’s learn the proper way to cut baby bok choy.

Baby Bok Choy
  • Start by rinsing the baby bok choy thoroughly under cold running water. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
  • Lay the bok choy horizontally on a cutting board and slice about 1 inch off the bottom, ensuring you remove any root remnants. You can discard the trimmed ends or save them for vegetable broth if you prefer.
  • Once the tough ends are removed, carefully separate the leaves from the stalks. The leaves will cook faster than the stalks, so it’s essential to keep them separate.
  • Cut the bok choy stalks into bite-sized pieces. Angle your knife and slice the stalks diagonally to create visually appealing and evenly sized pieces.
  • Finally, chop the bok choy leaves into manageable pieces. They can be kept larger than the stalks, as they will wilt down during cooking.

How to Stir Fry Bok Choy and Chicken

Now that you have perfectly cut baby bok choy, it’s time to stir-fry and bring out its delicious flavors. 

Start by marinating your chicken in the fridge for 30 minutes, up to a few hours, using this marinade:

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Heat your wok, or a large skillet, over medium-high heat. I use a simple stove-top wok which goes directly over the burner on my stove. Don’t forget the ring!  

Heat one tablespoon of peanut oil in the wok until smoking, then add half of the chicken pieces, and cook for one to two minutes. Flip the chicken and continue cooking for another couple minutes. Remove chicken and repeat with the other half of the chicken pieces. 

Remove the chicken from the wok and stir-fry one clove of minced garlic for 10 or 20 seconds. 

Toss in the bok choy stalks and stir-fry them for 1-2 minutes until they start to soften. If you prefer your bok choy more tender, you can cook them for an extra minute or so.

Next, add the bok choy leaves to the wok and give it a quick stir. The leaves will wilt down quickly, so keep a close eye on them to prevent overcooking. 

Add the chicken back to the wok with your stir-fried bok choy and pour in the sauce (1/4 cup chicken broth, 1.5 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon fresh, grated ginger). Stir until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through, about one minute. Stir in chili oil and oyster sauce. 

Adapting This Recipe

You can adapt this recipe so easily! The natural flavors of bok choy shine through, making it a crowd-pleasing option for vegetarians and veggie lovers alike.

If you’re looking for vegan bok choy recipes, simply omit the chicken, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and add in whatever additional veggies you want. Broccoli, carrots, red peppers, water chestnuts, and ramen noodles are some good options. 

You can also substitute shrimp or pork for the chicken, or add tofu for a bok choy tofu stir fry.

Cooking baby bok choy stir-fry couldn’t be easier, and the results are both delicious and nutritious. This chicken and bok choy stir fry pairs beautifully with pork-fried rice, steamed rice or noodles and will quickly become a household favorite. 

Classic Stir-Fry with chicken and bok choy.

Classic Chicken and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Classic stir-fry with chicken and bok choy, adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
5 from 37 votes
Course Main
Cuisine Asian


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1" chunks
  • 1 pound baby bok choy Shanghai bok choy or combination of greens, sliced


  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce


  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
  • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch


  • Combine marinade ingredients (soy sauce through corn starch) into a bowl.
  • Toss in chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate while preparing sauce.


  • Combine broth, Chinese cooking wine or sherry, corn starch, honey and ginger in a small bowl, set aside.

Chicken and Bok Choy

  • Heat 1 Tablespoon peanut oil in a wok or large skillet until smoking, add half of the chicken pieces, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Flip chicken pieces and continue cooking another 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and add minced garlic, stir fry for 10 or 20 seconds.
  • Add baby bok choy, stir just a minute, then add sauce and chicken and continue stirring until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in oyster sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds.
  • Serve over rice.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Here are some additional items I use when I’m making any kind of Asian dish.

Chicken and baby bok choy stir-fry - image for Pinterest.

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  1. Ohhh, lucky you! What a fun class that must have been! San Francisco’s Chinatown is my favorite. We took the kids when they were 12 and 10 and the 10 year old decided to become a vegetarian at that visit. She’’s still not a meat eater, but is a pescatarian, still at 36. It was just too much for her! Anyways great recipe.

5 from 37 votes (35 ratings without comment)

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