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Low Histamine Bok Choy (Sesame Garlic)

Known as Chinese cabbage, not only are bok choy histamine levels low, but in fact it’s a highly antihistamine food. It’s also become increasingly available around the world, so when I passed it in the market the other day, I decided to give it a try. This bok choy recipe omits the typical vinegar and soy sauce in favor of sumac and sea salt, though it’s just as easy to make.

About this recipe

Low Histamine Side Dish: apparently bok choy is high in folate and iron and a ton of other nutrients, but I really just made it because it reminded me of some amazing meals I had in Taiwan (a trip that feels like a lifetime ago).

Make it Fresh: After reading about the forever chemicals in our bodies, I’ve switched mostly to cast iron and other traditional cooking tools. But however you choose to prepare it, you can easily double or triple this recipe for a crowd (though I wouldn’t recommend freezing it). It would go beautifully with anything garlic-heavy— I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Ingredients

Everything you need! (plus some optional bits)

Baby Bok Choy: similar to its cruciferous counterparts, baby bok choy is a mild green leaf with a vaguely celery-like flavor, albeit more tender than its parent. The high moisture content makes it hard to get crispy, however, so this recipe makes use of its high water content.

Sesame Oil: matching well with the other flavors, sesame oil also lends its own umami richness to the dish.

Garlic & Ginger: these low histamine spices are also traditional in most Asian cooking, helping to add bold flavor to dishes without raising histamine levels or adding calories.

Honey (or Date Syrup): though this ingredient is optional, it really helps add to the flavor balance. There are a multitude of low histamine sweeteners you can use, but by far my favorite is manuka honey. Not only is it great for the digestive system, but manuka honey has been proven to lessen allergy symptoms, like those of histamine intolerance.

Sumac: this red-hued spice is actually a ground-up dried berry with strongly antihistamine and acidic properties. It takes the place of lemon juice, which is normally added near the end of the cooking process. This is an optional but recommended ingredient; a good alternative is amchur.

How to make ginger garlic bok choy: step-by-step instructions

Step 1. Lightly wash your bok choy, then slice each one in half and thoroughly wash & dry each half.

Step 2. Slice your garlic and mince your ginger, and then turn on medium-low heat under your cast iron.

Step 3. Gather your spices while you wait for the pan to heat, then add your oil and wait one more minute.

Step 4. Add the ginger and garlic and let them infuse the oil for one minute, stirring frequently.

Step 5. Add the bok choy using the tongs (so as to not splash yourself with any hot oil), and arrange it carefully in the pan with the whites in the center. Stir occasionally while it cooks for 4-5 minutes, until the whites are tender but the green tops are just starting to brown. If it seems to be cooking too quickly, turn the heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of water, and put the lid on it to steam for one minute.

Step 6. Once the whites have started to brown, turn off the heat and move the pan to a cold burner, immediately adding the honey, sumac, chili pepper, salt, black pepper, and sesame seeds, stirring ’til combined.

Recipe notes & tips

What Pan to Use. You’ll need tongs and a cast iron pan for this recipe; a nonstick pan would also work well (though the idea of forever chemicals now freak me out).

How Much Salt. I recommend at least 1/4 teaspoon, to make up for the lack of soy sauce, but you may want more or less.

What to eat with bok choy

Homemade Garlic Bok Choy Recipe Card

As always, if you like the recipe, I really appreciate a review or comment!

Crispy Garlic-Ginger Bok Choy (Low Histamine)

Crispy Garlic-Ginger Bok Choy (Low Histamine)

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

The classic ginger-garlic bok choy is made low histamine in this soy-free reimagining, perfect as a side dish. (Plus optional sweet and spicy additions!)

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of baby bok choi
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • Dash of sumac
  • Dash of chili pepper (optional)
  • Sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

    1. Lightly wash your bok choy, then slice each one in half and thoroughly wash & dry each half.
    2. Slice your garlic and mince your ginger, and then turn on medium-low heat under your cast iron.
    3. Gather your spices while you wait for the pan to heat, then add your oil and wait one more minute.
    4. Add the ginger and garlic and let them infuse the oil for one minute, stirring frequently.
    5. Add the bok choy using the tongs (so as to not splash yourself with any hot oil), and arrange it carefully in the pan with the whites in the center. Stir occasionally while it cooks for 4-5 minutes, until the whites are tender but the green tops are just starting to brown. If it seems to be cooking too quickly, turn the heat to low, add 1 tablespoon of water, and put the lid on it to steam for one minute.
    6. Once the whites have started to brown, turn off the heat and move the pan to a cold burner, immediately adding the honey, sumac, chili pepper, salt, black pepper, and sesame seeds, stirring 'til combined. Plate it and enjoy![

Notes

PANS. You'll need tongs and a cast iron pan for this recipe; a nonstick pan would also work well (though the forever chemicals now freak me out).

SALT. I recommend at least 1/4 teaspoon, to make up for the lack of soy sauce, but you may want more or less.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181.83kcalTotal Fat: 14.65ggSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 910.64mgmgCarbohydrates: 11.46ggFiber: 9gSugar: 4.47ggProtein: 3.92gg

Nutrition data is primarily accumulated from online calculators for convenience and courtesy only, and can vary depending on factors such as measurements, brands, and so on. We encourage you to double-check and make your own calculations.

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