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7 Great Substitutes for Bok Choy: Enhance Your Dishes

Have you found yourself with a hankering for a crisp stir-fry only to realize that you’re fresh out of bok choy? I’m here to highlight some incredible substitutes that can seamlessly slide into your wok and onto your plate.

Bok choy, with its unique flavor and satisfying crunch, is a staple in many Asian-inspired dishes, but what if I told you that there are other greens out there ready to up the ante?

From the familiar taste of spinach to the peppery bite of tatsoi, each substitute brings its own flair to the table.

In this article, we’ll meticulously explore the details of these greens, not as a bespoke experience found only in the restaurant world, but as a practical and exciting solution to the complexities of home cooking.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bok choy is a staple in many Asian-inspired dishes, but there are other delicious greens that can be substituted for it.
  • Bok choy can be substituted with napa cabbage, yu choy, spinach, broccoli rabe, and tatsoi.
  • Each substitute brings its own unique flavor profile and texture to dishes.
  • Substitutes can be used at a 1-to-1 ratio or adjusted to personal taste.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different combinations of these greens in your recipes.

When the recipe calls for bok choy but the store runs out, don’t panic. You can still make that delicious dish with these seven great substitutes:

VegetableTasteTextureSuitable Dishes
Napa CabbageMild, sweetTender, crunchyStir-fries, salads, slaws
Swiss ChardEarthy, slightly bitterTender, slightly chewySautés, soups, stews
KaleEarthy, slightly bitterTough, fibrousSalads, sautés, smoothies
SpinachMild, slightly sweetTender, delicateSalads, sautés, soups, omelets
Green CabbageCrisp, slightly pepperyCrunchySlaws, stir-fries, roasted
Yu Choy/Chinese BroccoliMild, slightly bitterTender stems, crunchy leavesStir-fries, sautés
LeeksMild, onion-likeTender, slightly fibrousSoups, stews, sautés

1 – Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage steps in with its leafy elegance. Its mild flavor and crisp texture make it a no-brainer substitute. We can use it just like bok choy in almost any recipe. It brings a gentle sweetness that we absolutely dig.

We’ve thrown Napa cabbage into stir-fries and soups. It really holds its own. Plus, it’s a champ in the crunch department. You’ll find it does the job, making dishes sing without missing a beat.

Napa Cabbage and Chicken Stir-Fry

Substitute it cup for cup. This means if your dish needs two cups of bok choy, just swap in two cups of Napa cabbage. Simple, right?

For more on substituting Napa cabbage and other great finds, you might want to glance at this handy guide on finding substitutes.

2 – Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard steps up. It’s a great swap for bok choy. Its leaves cook down well. They add a bit of color, too. Swiss Chard fits into many dishes. You can use it just as you would bok choy. This leafy green has a rich flavor. We often use it for its versatility.

It works well in both raw and cooked forms. We usually switch one cup of bok choy for one cup of Swiss Chard. It slides right into soups and stir-fries. This trade keeps meals lively.

For those eager to learn more about switching things up, there’s a guide that dives deep into finding great alternatives. You might find it useful. Check out more about how Swiss Chard can be substituted in recipes.

3 – Kale

Kale steps in as a solid choice. Its robust flavor and nutritional value make it stand out. We easily swap it in recipes that usually call for bok choy.

This green is a powerhouse. It works well in both salads and cooked dishes. We often throw in a handful of kale to add a bit of texture and color. Kale can replace bok choy at a one-to-one ratio.

Looking for more ways to swap greens in your dishes? You might find our guide on this topic helpful. For additional tips, check out how to use kale as a substitute in your next meal right here.

4 – Spinach

Spinach enters the ring with finesse. It’s light yet brings a vibrant green to the plate. Its subtle flavor means it slips into recipes unnoticed.

We add spinach wherever greens are needed. It cooks down more than bok choy, so keep that in mind. For every cup of bok choy, about one and a half cups of spinach should do the trick.

This swap works wonders in soups and stir-fries. Spinach also plays well in raw salads. We’ve found this leafy green to be a reliable stand-in, making meals fresh and appetizing.

For those eager to mix things up further, see our guide on how spinach can step in for other greens in your cooking. Find more on swapping in spinach here.

5 – Green Cabbage

Green Cabbage sneaks in as a brilliant swap. It’s crunchy and has a peppery kick that livens up any dish. It’s a go-to for us in many recipes calling for bok choy.

We use it for its versatility in both cooked and raw dishes. The texture is comparable, making it a straightforward substitute. We often toss green cabbage into recipes where bok choy was the original star.

Substitution is easy, just use a one-to-one ratio. If a recipe needs two cups of bok choy, simply switch in two cups of Green Cabbage.

Interested in other substitutes? Find out how to use green cabbage in various dishes right here.

6 – Yu Choy or Chinese Broccoli

Yu Choy steps in as a vibrant substitute. It brings a slightly bitter flavor and a lot of crunch.

We’ve tossed Yu Choy into our dishes, and it blends seamlessly. The key here is its versatility.

Yu Choy or Chinese Broccoli can swap in for bok choy with no fuss. We use it one-for-one in our recipes.

It shines in stir-fries and steamed dishes. Adding Yu Choy keeps meals lively and packed with nutrients.

We learned this trick during a cooking crunch time. It saved our dinner.

This green has never disappointed us. For those who need a quick sub, give Yu Choy a try.

Find recipes and substitution tips for Yu Choy here.

7 – Leeks

Leeks make their entrance with a subtle flavor. They’re ideal for dishes needing a mild onion taste. They bring a soft texture to meals. Leeks slide easily into recipes.

We often reach for them as an addition. They work well in both soups and stir-fries. Leeks can step in directly for bok choy. We use them in equal parts.

Adding leeks shifts a meal softly. They ensure dishes remain balanced. For every cup of bok choy needed, one cup of leeks fits perfectly. This swap is both simple and effective.

Leeks have saved our dinner more times than we can count. They’re a dependable choice for many meals. Interested in trying them out? You might want to check this page for a deeper dive into using leeks as a substitute right over here.

Napa Cabbage and Chicken Stir-Fry

Napa Cabbage and Chicken Stir-Fry

This Napa cabbage and chicken stir-fry is a flavorful and nutritious alternative to traditional bok choy stir-fries. The mild taste of Napa cabbage pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of chicken, garlic, and ginger. This dish is easy to prepare and guaranteed to become a household favorite.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 252 kcal


  • Wok or large skillet
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1- inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 small head of Napa cabbage chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken pieces and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ginger, stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Add Napa cabbage, red bell pepper, and sugar snap peas to the wok. Stir-fry for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions before serving.
  • Serve over rice or noodles for a complete meal.


  • Feel free to add other vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, or broccoli to the stir-fry.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit chicken and use tofu or tempeh instead.
  • Adjust the amount of garlic and ginger according to personal preference.
  • This recipe can also be made with other proteins such as beef, pork, or shrimp. Simply adjust cooking times accordingly.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 252kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 28gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 156mgPotassium: 1116mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2067IUVitamin C: 118mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chicken stir fry, napa cabbage, substitutes for bok choy
Did you make this recipe?Mention @CooksCrafter or tag #CooksCrafter!
5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Friday 22nd of March 2024

I love cooking with bok choy, but it's not always available at my local grocery store. These substitutes sound like they could be great stand-ins!

Andrew Gray

Friday 22nd of March 2024

Absolutely! It's always handy to have backup options when ingredients are hard to find. These substitutes can definitely help keep your culinary adventures with bok choy going strong!