Bok Choy Substitutes: 5 Delicious Greens to Try

There’s nothing worse than going to your local grocery store to pick up ingredients for a specific dish you’ve been wanting to make, only for one of the key ingredients to be out of stock. 

Bok Choy is an ingredient used in so many different dishes, and it’s a well-loved addition all over the world. However, some supermarkets might not stock it, or it might just be out of stock.

Either way, having to exclude bok choy from your dish is definitely disheartening. 

Bok Choy Substitutes 5 Delicious Greens to Try

The crunchy texture and slightly bitter flavor is why so many people adore this Chinese cabbage, and it makes the perfect addition to salads, stir fries, and soups. 

So, if you can’t find any bok choy in stores local to you, there’s no need to panic, as there are a number of great substitutes out there that you’ll be able to use to replace it. 

This guide will take you through some of the best substitutions for bok choy out there, so that you can replace it with no hassle or stress. 

What Is Bok Choy? 

If you’re making a recipe for the first time and it includes bok choy, then there’s a small chance that you might not be familiar with what it is. In this case, allow us to explain more about this great vegetable! 

Bok Choy originates from Asia, and is predominantly used in a lot of Chinese cuisines, although that isn’t all it can be used for. 

Cooking bok choy is pretty easy too, and you only need to wash its leaves and chop it before adding it to a dish of your choice. 

You might have guessed from its appearance, but bok choy is closely related to broccoli, kale, and cabbage, and is full of vitamins and minerals too, which makes it a particularly healthy addition to any dish. 

Some of the vitamins found in bok choy include vitamins A and C, as well as iron, calcium, and even potassium too. 

Bok choy usually is readily available, as it’s quite easy to grow, and is usually ready to be harvested in a matter of weeks. It can also be stored for up to a week in a refrigerator too.

Fresh bok choy is distinguishable due to its dark green and crisp leaves, which is what to look for when buying from a grocery store, and you should avoid any bok choy that has wilted or slightly yellow looking leaves, as these show that the vegetable is past its prime. 

But what happens when the supermarket has no bok choy, what should you do? Well, this guide will provide you with some of the best bok choy substitutes, so there’s no need to worry if you can’t find any! 

The Best Bok Choy Substitutes

No matter the reason for not having bok choy, if a recipe calls to include it, then you’ll need to find a suitable substitute to help replicate its flavor and nutritional value. 

Thankfully we have a small list filled with substitutes that are more than capable of replacing bok choy, no matter what dish you’re making! 

1. Napa Cabbage

For those who are looking for an almost like replacement for the bok choy in their dish, then Napa cabbage is probably going to be the best option. 

This cabbage is often used in a variety of Asian dishes, much like how bok choy is, and similarly to bok choy, it’s also super healthy too.

It contains a range of minerals including potassium and calcium, as well as vitamins C and K too. It’s also particularly low in calories, which makes it diet-friendly too. 

When compared to other types of cabbage out there it has a much milder flavor, which is why the leaves of Napa cabbage are usually used for wrapping dumplings or spring rolls. 

2. Spinach

Another nutrient packed leafy green vegetable is Spinach, which you’ll almost definitely be familiar with. 

Everyone knows just how healthy spinach is, as it’s a great source of Vitamins A, C, and K, and contains minerals such as calcium and iron. 

Spinach is also extremely versatile too because it can be eaten raw or cooked, so you can include it in salads and sandwiches, or even soups and stir fries, the possibilities are endless.

Spinach also happens to be a common ingredient in juices and smoothies too, although we doubt that’s what you’ll be using it for if you’re looking to replace bok choy. 

If you’re going to be buying spinach instead, try to look for dark green leaves that have no wilting or brown spots, and ensure that you wash it first before using it to rinse off any dirt or sand. 

It’ll last for 5 days when kept in the refrigerator with a damp paper towel, so you’ll have plenty of time to use it up! 

3. Choy Sum 

Choy Sum is another option for those looking for a suitable bok choy alternative, and is more commonly known as the Chinese flowering cabbage, which is another extremely popular leafy vegetable that is used in a variety of dishes in Chinese cuisine. 

The flower buds are often used for something else, while the leaves and stems are completely edible. 

While it might look closer to broccoli in appearance, the flavor is entirely different, and is actually much more delicate than the flavor you get from broccoli. 

Found in a variety of soups and noodle dishes, choy sum is best fried alongside garlic and salt for the best flavor. Although boiling it is quite common too. 

Choy sum is also rather healthy, containing calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A and C too, which is exactly why it was used in so many Chinese medicines! 

Choy sum is somewhat common in supermarkets, so it’s a great replacement for bok choy should you need a substitute.

4. Mustard Greens

When we mention mustard, your mind will likely immediately jump to the idea of the bright yellow condiment we decide to put on everything, however, chances are you’re a lot less familiar with this leafy vegetable! 

A close relation to both kale and cabbage, mustard greens look quite similar to bok choy, but can vary in color, going from a deep green all the way to a bright purple.

The leaves can be either wrinkled or smooth too, so their appearance can vary greatly. 

If you’re looking to bring a different flavor to your dish then mustard greens are perfect, as they have this distinctive peppery flavor, much like the seeds they’re made from. 

Edible raw or cooked, their taste mellows out when cooked, and is much sharper when raw. 

5. Celery

Healthy, full of nutrients, and an extremely versatile ingredient, it should come as no surprise that celery is included on this list. 

It’s also favored due to being low in calories, which makes it suitable for people looking to diet. 

Celery is also much more common than bok choy, so might just be the substitute for you! 

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide is able to help you find the right bok choy substitute for your cooking, good luck! 

Bok Choy Substitutes: 5 Delicious Greens to Try

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time





Discover the top 5 bok choy substitutes that are both delicious and nutritious. Add these leafy greens to your diet for a healthy and varied menu.


  • Napa Cabbage

  • Spinach

  • Choy Sum 

  • Mustard Greens

  • Celery


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Top 6 Incredible Bok Choy Substitute (
Scroll to Top