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Pork with Bok Choy & Daikon
  -   Phaksha Pa
4 main  
2 hr  

This is really delicious, and with just rice makes a meal. The original recipe is reported to have been collected by Susanne Waugh from the royal court of Bhutan. I have taken the liberty of making some practical changes as explained in the Notes.


Pork (1)
Dried Pork (2)
Bok Choy (3)
Daikon (4)
Ginger root
Chili, green (5)
Chili Powder (6)
  1. Remove excess fat from PORK and cut into pieces 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch and as long as practical for your cut.
  2. Cut DRIED PORK into strips 1/2 inch wide and about 1/8 inch thick by whatever length works.
  3. Wash BOK CHOY and separate leaves from stems. Cut leaves into 1/2 inch strips and stems diagonally about 3/8 inch wide, discarding pieces that are overly thick. Keep leaves and stems separate.
  4. Chop ONION medium.
  5. Peel DAIKON and slice a little less than 1/4 inch thick. If slices are large, cut them in half.
  6. Slice GINGER very thin and chop fine,
  7. Cap CHILI, split in half lengthwise and cut into narrow strips. Scrape out seeds or not depending on your preference.
  1. In a wok or spacious sauté pan melt Butter over moderate heat and fry Onion until translucent. Stir in Pork and fry stirring until all raw color is gone and any exuded liquid has evaporated.
  2. Stir in Water, Daikon, Chili Powder and Salt. Bring to a boil and simmer covered until the pork is just tender - an hour to an hour and a half depending on your cut of pork. Check now and then to make sure you don't run out of water.
  3. Stir in Bok Choy Stems, bring back to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the Bok Choy Leaves and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in Chili, Ginger and Dried Pork. See that there's enough liquid, cover and simmer for another 6 minutes.
  5. Adjust liquid to your preference and serve hot with plenty of Basmati rice.
  1. Pork:   Weight is boneless and with all excess fat removed. Pork shoulder (Boston Butt or Picnic Shoulder) or similar are fine. The original recipe called for strips "6 by 1/2 inch", thickness unspecified. This seems a little impractical so I favor about 3 inches long..
  2. Dried Cured Pork:   This is a standard item in Bhutan, but not likely available at your local supermarket. It is said to add "sweetness", so I used "Chinese Style Cured and Smoked Ham Pieces" which is quite dry and fairly sweet. Chinese Bacon would probably also work, or lacking even that, Chinese Sausages. For details see our Chinese Cured Smoked Ham page and our Chinese Bacon page.
  3. Bok Choy   Use small heads of white stemmed Bok Choy. The original recipe called for 3 pounds of large heads because only the leaves were used and the stems discarded. That's fine for the royal court, but we peasants aren't likely to throw away all that perfectly good bok choy.
  4. Daikon:   Select a small daikon. Large ones seem fine eaten raw, but can be unpleasantly fibrous when cooked in a stew.
  5. Chili:   Bhutanese chilis are said to be both meaty and very hot. Serranos are probably as close as we can get here. One seeds-in serrano won't make a recipe of this size very hot. With the seeds and membranes stripped out it will contribute almost no heat - use your own judgement.
  6. Chili Powder   This provides both flavor and heat. I use Indian Reshampatti which has good flavor and is fairly hot, but not unreasonable. If you want less hot use Kashmir or Korean - use your own judgement. Don't use American Southwest powders which are actually "chili masalas", not pure chili. For details see our Chili Page.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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