30-Minutes or Less!/ Recipes: Vegan/ Recipes: Vegetarian

Bok Choy in Coconut Milk

Every once in a while I like to take a vacation. Correction: I need a vacation. But a busy schedule make it an almost impossible desire. Instead, I take time to “zone out.” I take these mini-holidays on any particular day and when I think I most deserve it. I leave everything behind and pretend I’m on an adventure. Anything to spice up my routine lifestyle.I wear my favourite pair of comfortable pants, put on my comfy walking shoes, and armed with a camera and a few bare necessities, I set out on an exploration.

Recipe for Bok Choy in Coconut Milk taken from www.hookedonheat.com. Visit site for detailed recipe.

The streets by my home are lined with vintage stores filled with pretty little things. There’s a cafe on the corner of the street that serves the best chocolate eclair I’ve ever had. As I walk down that road, filled with the hustle and bustle of people walking their dogs and moms dragging their kids from the ice-cream shop, it gives me a sense of vacationing. You know, the feeling you get when you experience a place for the first time. It’s curious how enriching it can be just to take in all the sights and sounds and see things from a new perspective. It helps me. It helps me forget deadlines, and to-do lists. It helps to open up my mind to new avenues of thinking. Some I never even knew were embedded somewhere in my head.

I walk the extra mile to a nearby lake. I turn towards my favourite bench overlooking the horizon and I enjoy my eclair. My camera captures things that I see along the way and want to keep imprinted on my mind. These also become inspiration for the rest of the week; sometimes even the month! What is most exhilarating, is the feeling of being free. It gives me a chance to see things around me in a new light.

With food, I often feel the same way too. Sometimes, you just want something different. It doesn’t have to be exotic or even back-breakingly elegant. Just different enough to take your palate on a holiday. I try and keep atleast one day of the week where I try out something different. I create or recreate a recipe from my fancy. Sometimes, it’s the ingredients that are new to me, and most times, the flavours that follow along. This dish is one such feat. With an open mind to create vegetable dishes that I would enjoy and always come back to, I decided to play around with a bunch of fresh Bok Choy I picked up a few days ago. It resulted in what has now become one of my favourite comfort dishes. Yes, it really is that good that I promise you won’t even know that NO oil was use in its creation.

Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 2


1 small onion, sliced
1 big bunch bok choy, leaves and stems roughly chopped and separated
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp Sambal Olek/red chilli paste
2 cups coconut milk
salt, to taste


Add onions, bok choy stems, garlic and chilli paste to coconut milk in a deep pan, and let it come to a boil over medium-heat. Stir ocassionally to allow garlic and chilli paste to blend well with the coconut milk.

Add bok choy leaves, season with salt, and turn off the heat. Cover the pan and let it sit for a few minutes till the leaves begin to wilt.

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  • Reply
    January 26, 2013

    Thanks for the recipe; it was easy to follow and the dish turned out very well!

    I had some extra coconut milk and a bunch of bok choy and was wondering what I could make without an extra trip to buy ingredients. Unsure, I turned to my friend, Google. Upon a search for bok choy and coconut milk, your website came up and I found it. I’m glad I did!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2010

    I just made this, and it is heavenly! Kudos to the chef; thank you for this recipe.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2009

    This was more than delicious. I also love the simplicity of the dish as well as the ease in making it. This is as fast as any box dinner, and a million times better for my health, soul, and for the world.

  • Reply
    Niall Harbison
    April 18, 2008

    Hi There, i just came accross your blog through stumbleupon and think it is fantastic. Lovely food pics especially. I have so many blogs in my RSS that I usually dont even stop on food blogs as I hardly have time to read the ones that i have already! Good news is that I just added yours and will try and read it as much as possible. Best of luck and keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2007

    Hi, Meena. I love this blog.

    My wife made this dish for dinner tonight with a homemade curry paste. It was absolutely delicious. Thanks for the terrific recipe!

  • Reply
    Scott at Realepicurean
    September 8, 2007

    Too right, sometimes a change is good. Eating something like this would certainly be a GOOD change!

  • Reply
    priya Dilip
    September 5, 2007

    Hello Meena.. actually sort of first time to ur blog.. i like ur Malay association in cooking.. do post a lot of veggie malay cuisine.. recently, when i had transit time in malaysia while flying back n forth to india, i had the opportunity ot visit malaysia.. i really loved that place and food.. In one place, i tried spicy vegetarian mutton… it was very reddish and hot and divine for my tongue… do post a recipe .. it tasted almost like mutton.. how do we make all that ?? try posting about this sometime.. thanks a lot.. love ur site… with the pictures and writing skills, u shud consider writing a cook book urself…

  • Reply
    Tom Bastek
    September 3, 2007

    I hear ya on the change thing. We all get so into the comfort zone sometimes. I don’t strike out often with food, even though I have a very diverse palate. I must strive to do more.


  • Reply
    September 1, 2007

    Looks great! I’m adding it to my list of recipes to try! I love bok choy and coconut milk, so this has got to be good.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2007

    Hello Meena,
    I was reading one of your earlier posts where you mention preparing for some freelance work. Are you a freelance writer by any chance? Forgive the ignorance but I’ve only just stumbled onto your site and am enjoying it immensely.

    I have just begun to write after spending 7 years in a profession I did not enjoy. Would appreciate any freelance tips or advice you could share ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    August 30, 2007

    Hi Meena,

    Would be great if you could actually mention the dish instead of just saying ‘Jump to recipe’. I actually need to go click on that to see what I am looking at – this wud make it more user friendly.

    Great food and great picture as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the input Kavitha, I took your advice and added the recipe names below the pics. That way you’ll know what recipe is included. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2007

    That’s just the kind of thing I go for. It’s not the first thing than would come to mind when you think of bok choy and coconut milk, but that’s definitely a good thing. You’re right about zoning out once in a while, I think it’s the only thing that keeps most of us sane.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2007

    No oil! I’m impressed! Hope you enjoyed your mini-break. I just had a holiday and I feel like I need another one ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    August 24, 2007

    Great post, Meena. I understand how you feel.

  • Reply
    Happy Cook
    August 24, 2007

    What a wonderfull idea to take a day like that.
    The recipe looks creamy and delicious

  • Reply
    August 24, 2007

    Thats meal in a min! Love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    August 23, 2007

    I love all of these ingredients, and will be making this soon. It looks delicious!

    Do try it out, Nupur, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2007

    The simplicity of this dish is what makes it comforting and you have done an excellent job of demonstrating that in the picture.

    I’m an old believer of the saying ‘Simple is always best’, Cynthia, and this recipe sure proves it!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2007

    We all need vacation when life gets mundane. I agree with you that it doesnt have to be elaborate. It could be even a hot cup of tea on a rainy evening listening to yr fav music… Love yr bok choy too. Will try it soon.

    I agree Suganya. My most favourite part of my day is when I can enjoy a big cup of coffee while lying on the couch drooling over my latest cookbook purchase! Sinful bliss!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2007

    such a simple and gorgeous dish!!!

    It truly is Bee, and I still can’t get over the fact that I didn’t use any oil!

  • Reply
    Steamy Kitchen
    August 23, 2007

    That is brilliant! I’ve never had bok choy with coconut milk…what a combo.

    Me neither Jaden, now i’m beginning to think that anything would taste divine cooked in coconut milk!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2007

    A beautiful picture and I love the simplicity of the recipe. I hope your vacation leaves you well rested.

    Thanks Katerina, I do hope you try it out and enjoy it as well.

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