Dried Bok Choy Soup (Choy Kon Tong)

photo credit: Table For 2

photo credit: Table For 2

I only recently found out that the amazing dried vegetables in Choy Kon Tong is actually dehydrated bok choy. Like, how amazing is that? If you compare the flavours of fresh and dried bok choy, they are so contrasting. Fresh bok choy is juicy, slightly astringent, with a sweet bitterness that most leafy greens have. Dried bok choy however has an interesting deep earthy umami flavour, not unlike dried mushrooms. It’s also really fragrant. Once boiled, it becomes tender, chewy and stringy. A lot of people discard it after boiling but I just love munching on them to extract that coveted earthy flavour.  I would have never guessed that it was bok choy if not for the labels on the packet. That transformation it takes from dehydration… like so many other ingredients (chillies, mushrooms, peppercorns, beans….). Isn’t it great when you learn something new by accident?

This soup is so simple. Besides having to remember to soak the dried veggies for about 20 minutes before boiling this up, all you need to prepare is   Chicken Drumstick (or whatever soup meat/bones you prefer), Honey Dates, Red Dates (Jujube), Salt & Water.
Dried Bok Choy Soup 1

After snipping the dried veggies into smaller manageable pieces, I basically just put all that ingredients into my pot.Dried Bok Choy Soup 2

You can see I’ve stripped away the skin from the drumsticks as I didn’t want the soup to get oily. Everything gets dumped into the pot and boil. That simple.
Dried Bok Choy Soup 3

After sufficient boiling time, the dried bok choy releases a really earthy flavour to the broth. And added with the sweetness of both dates, it does make for a rather clear appetising soup.Dried Bok Choy Soup 5

The dried veggies do take on the moisture and swell quite a bit. I quite like them.Dried Bok Choy Soup 6

We used to have this with chicken rice. A pretty good accompaniment to cleanse the palate.Dried Bok Choy Soup 4

I really like this soup when I feel my body needs a little bit of cleansing after lots of fried or oily foods. It has a really clean flavour and generally makes me feel really good.

Let us have more soup!

xoxoxo, Jayne

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Line divider

Dried Bok Choy Soup (Choy Kon Tong)
serves 6-8

2 bunches (70gms or 2.5 oz) dried Bok Choy, soaked in water
2 Honey Dates
4-6 Red Dates (Jujube)
8 cups Water (boiling water if using slow cooker)
2 Chicken Drumsticks (skin removed)
Salt (to taste)

  1. Soak the dried bok choy for 20 minutes. There is a lot of dirt and debris on it so make sure to wash and drain it well. Give the long rehydrated strands a few snips with a pair of kitchen scissors for ease of serving later.
  2. Place all the ingredients into your stock pot or slow cooker. If boiling in a stock pot, bring it all to a boil then reduce to a simmer, covered, for 2 hours. If using slow cooker, use boiling water and set to HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 8 hours.
  3. Serve!


  1. Oh…nice. Choy Kon Tong is one of my favorite soup to drink. I wonder if they sell those here in the states as I miss this soup a lot. Especially after seeing your post. 🙂

    • 🙂 It’s really nice, right? Thanks! I like that the hot soup warms the body but the choy kon itself is actually cooling. Really nice for warm weathers even. Wonder if you can dry your own bok choy to make this. That is if you cannot find choy kon there. Would be an interesting experiment!

  2. Jayne I agree with you on the benefits of the soup. It definitely is something I could use when I eat a little too much foods that throws my body off balance.

    • Thanks. 🙂 It’s true. Since we’re going to have to put things into our bodies, may as well put good things in, right?

  3. I love chicken soup –sounds fantastic on a cloudy day such as today. Hope you had a lovely weekend!


  1. […] There are some types of veggies that are totally lovely when they are young and tender but once they’ve grown out a bit more, they get all tough and stringy. It seems to me, though, that bok choy remains tasty when they are tiny as well as when they have all grown up. Even when they’re dried! […]

Tell me more!