Substituting kale for bok choy

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
31,518
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
I ordered a sort of a meal kit from my produce box place. The recipe is for a sort of stir fry with tofu and bok choy and other stuff. Well, I got most of it in my basket yesterday, but they screwed up and didn't send me the bok choy or the rainbow chard. I don't want to just wait and order those again for delivery next week. The 'shrooms might be a bit dry by next week. I'm not sure how well the mung bean sprouts will fare. The tofu strings have a best by date that is far enough away that I'm not really worried about that. The ramen noodles are frozen, so they will be fine, but taking up precious space in my freezer. So much for the rant part of this post. I do have some kale that DH has taken out of the downstairs freezer. I have used kale in soup to good effect. I have substituted other, less tough greens for kale, but I don't remember ever substituting kale for another green.

Since kale is kind of tough, what would you do to substitute it in a stir fry style dish? Would you blanch it? Would you just fry it a lot longer? Would you massage it? (I read about doing that somewhere.) Would you do something else? Would you just wait until you had the right ingredients?

I figure I'll substitute some pea shoots or sorrel or lettuce for the small amount of rainbow chard listed in this recipe.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
11,290
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
Bok choy, in my opinion, is a tender green. Yes, even the thciker white parts. I can't or wouldn't, even compare it to kale.

I would not wait, but go ahead and make your dish, but I like your suggestion of blanching it. That would definitely bring it down a notch or two. It will change the over all taste as kale is not only tougher but has a lot stronger taste too, Won't be the same but better than losing the other ingredients.... and you may really like it enough to change the recipe!

Would you possibly have any spinach? I think that would be a better sub.
 

pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
4,565
Location
Woodbury, NJ
I wouldn't substitute kale for bok choy, as much of the bok choy in the recipes is the stalks. Not sure what else you could sub for that, except something else crispy.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
31,518
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
Bok choy, in my opinion, is a tender green. Yes, even the thciker white parts. I can't or wouldn't, even compare it to kale.

I would not wait, but go ahead and make your dish, but I like your suggestion of blanching it. That would definitely bring it down a notch or two. It will change the over all taste as kale is not only tougher but has a lot stronger taste too, Won't be the same but better than losing the other ingredients.... and you may really like it enough to change the recipe!

Would you possibly have any spinach? I think that would be a better sub.
If it hasn't gone off, I may have about 20 smallish (around 2") leaves. I was thinking of using them as a substitute for the rainbow chard.
I wouldn't substitute kale for bok choy, as much of the bok choy in the recipes is the stalks. Not sure what else you could sub for that, except something else crispy.
Kale seemed like a better choice than sorrel. I don't have a lot of choices at home at the moment. Maybe celery would work to give the crunch of the white parts of bok choy. I don't expect it to be the same as if I was using the correct ingredients. But, I might get an impression of what it might be like with bok choy.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
11,290
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
If you go with the celery, I suggest you slice it very thin, as thin as you can. I find that bok choy's white parts, although crunchy are very tender. Not much to trade with.
 

HeyItsSara

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
488
Location
NYC
if you cut away the stem of the kale it shouldn't be fibrous. i mostly eat it raw anyway.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
31,518
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
taxy, what happened with your bok choy/kale substitute? What did you use in the end?
I didn't get around to it, so I ordered more bok choy and something else. The dish was pretty good, but not worth the effort without a fair bit of tweaking. It was kinda bland. The defrosted kale sat in my fridge, glaring at me every time I opened the fridge door, until I finally gave up and chucked it.
Edited to add, I just remembered what the other items I had to order were. It was the tofu strings and rainbow chard. When I couldn't find the tofu strings, I gave up. I found the tofu strings later. They are still before their best before date, so I will be incorporating them into something soon.
 
Last edited:

Badjak

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
376
I would have used the kale, just stir fried seperately and then added towards the end.
I just figure you would have to spice it a bit more aggressively.
But then it sounds like you should have done that anyway :)
 
Top Bottom