Steamed Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce

My husband picked up a bag of baby bok choy when we were at an international “farmer’s” market the other day.  He told me he would really like some steamed bok choy with “some kind of sauce” like he ate for breakfast when he was in Wuhan, China several years ago.  While I am happy to try and make new dishes, I had several issues with his request.  Mainly, that I was not on the trip so I had no idea of what the bok choy was like and his description of the sauce was that it was not spicy and it “may have been gray.”  Ugh!

So, I started googling steamed baby bok choy dishes and concluded that he might be talking about steamed bok choy with an oyster sauce of some sort.  My hubby purchased some oyster sauce at a local grocery store and I made a sauce after watching a few Youtube videos and reading a dozen or so online recipes.   I don’t know who to even credit for the recipe at this point…I think I may have combined a couple of them though.

My husband said the end result was close to what he had in China.  My daughter and I thought it was very good.  We even ate leftover sauce on the plain chicken breasts I served with the meal.  It tasted great on the chicken too.  As it was only close to what he wanted, I will try to tweak it to get it even closer to what he ate in Wuhan.   Meanwhile, as the baby bok choy season ramps up this spring, we will continue to enjoy this easy recipe.

Steaming baby bok choy is quick and easy. I used powdered garlic (no, the recipes I looked at did not use powdered garlic, but I did not have any fresh), so I saved even more time making a already fast to make sauce.  The most time consuming part of cooking this baby bok choy recipe was cleaning the bok choy…and that only took 5 to 10 minutes.


Steamed Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce
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Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes


  • 16 - 18 small baby bok choy
  • 1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. canola or other neutral oil
  • 2 + Tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. corn starch


  1. Clean outside of bok choy and remove end stems.
  2. Either place in a bowl of cool water and allow to soak for 10 minutes then clean each baby bok choy individually under running water. Or, cut each baby bok choy in half, soak in a bowl of clean water for a few minutes, then rinse each half under running water. This get almost, if not all, of the sand and dirt from the inside layers.
  3. Place in a steamer insert over water in the bottom of a pot/kettle and cover with a lid.
  4. Cook until leaves have wilted and stalks are desired tenderness.
  5. While bok choy is steaming, combine oyster sauce, sugar, garlic powder, oil, and 1 Tbsp. water in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  6. Make a slurry of cornstarch and another tablespoon of water.
  7. Whisk slurry slowly into oyster sauce mixture and bring to a boil.
  8. If the sauce gets too thick, add more water to reach desired consistency.
  9. Drizzle or spoon over cooked baby bok choy to serve.
  10. Serve warm.

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