Crop of the Moment: Bok Choy
A staple in Asian cooking, this round-leafed vegetable may be less familiar to American cooks. Here’s what you need to know — including what its name means, how to wash it, and how to use it.
1. Bok Choy’s Name
Bok choy is sometimes referred to as white cabbage, not to be confused with Napa cabbage, which is also a type of Chinese cabbage. There are many kinds of bok choy that vary in color, taste, and size, including tah tsai and joi choi. You might also find bok choy spelled pak choi, bok choi, or pak choy.
2. Its Plant Family
Bok choy might look a lot like celery, but it’s a member of the cabbage family.
The Chinese have been cultivating the vegetable for more than 5,000 years.
4. Where It’s Grown
Although the veggie is still grown in China, bok choy is now also harvested in America and parts of Canada.
5. Cooking It
Bok choy, known for its mild flavor, is good for stir-fries, braising, and soups. You can also eat it raw. Try this delicious and easy recipe from Bon Appetit
6. How to Clean It
The leaves and the stalks can both be cooked, but they should be separated before washing to ensure that both parts are thoroughly cleansed.
7. Keeping Bok Choy
For optimal freshness, don’t wash bok choy until you’re ready to use it. Unused parts can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
8. Nutrition Facts
The veggie is packed with vitamins A and C. One cup of cooked bok choy provides more than 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of A, and close to two-thirds the RDA of C.
9. Growing Bok Choy
The veggie takes about 2 months from planting to harvest and thrives best in milder weather.
10. Bok Choy: The Soup Spoon
Bok choy is sometimes called a “soup spoon” because of the shape of its leaves.
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