The Asian vegetable Pak Choi cannot deny its kinship with Chinese cabbage. However, there is a risk of confusion with the Swiss chard. Many consumers also know Pak Choi under the names mustard or leafy cabbage. The mild-tasting vegetables are now also offered in a mini version, aptly called "Baby Pak Choi" with smaller heads. Without exception, green leaves indicate the Chinese "Shanghai Pak Choi". On the shelves of grocery stores, consumers will also find Pak Choi under the name "Tat Soi", the taste of which can best be described as "particularly intense".
Fresh Pak Choi vegetables have bright green and crisp leaves. (Photo by: worldnews / Depositphotos.com)
From Asia to Europe
The typical cultivation areas of Pak Choi include the countries Japan, Korea and China. Asian emigrants who did not want to do without their traditional vegetables eventually brought it to the Netherlands, which has been the most important supplier alongside Thailand since 2004.
Characteristic for pak choi are the sheets formed from short stemmed circular rosettes having a deep green color and ends, in white chan alloyed stems to the root. The vegetables, which are offered with weights between 200 and 600 grams, are completely suitable for consumption.
Seasonal characteristics of Pak Choi
The fast growing and heat-loving plants are grown in appropriately prepared greenhouses. In the meantime, good results have also been achieved by growing outdoors. A novelty are the short harvest times of around eight weeks, which make the vegetables a year-round product.
A matter of good taste
The taste of Pak Choi is based on the well-known Chinese cabbage, but pampers the palate with a slightly spicy note . On the other hand, the leaves taste mild and not at all coal-heavy . Those who prefer it more delicate should stick to "Baby-Pak-Choi" (particularly mild) or its counterpart "Shanghai-Pak-Choi" (particularly spicy) when shopping.
Pak choi in the kitchen
Versatility is key when it comes to vegetables, for example as a salad or crispy side dish, such as with lamb or tender chicken . Pak Choi ignites an Asian touch in wok dishes, refined with soy sauce, coriander or lemongrass and with a hint of nutmeg. Due to their sensitivity to heat, the preparation methods should be based on only short steaming or roasting times, in lightly salted water it is cooked similarly to bite-resistant asparagus. Then quenched in ice water, color and crispness are guaranteed to be retained. The vegetables can therefore rightly be called an all-rounder in the kitchen.
Only steam or fry the Pak Choi vegetables briefly, so it stays nice and firm. (Photo by: lisovskaya / Depositphotos.com)
It ennobles in a steamed form and accompanied by steamed carrots, such as crispy roasted goose legs, is perfectly compatible with an orange-soy sauce and chicken breast, can be presented as an Asian-style vegetable filling in filo pastry tartlets and is not a Chinese stew as a contributing and tasty element think away. The main role is played by Pak-Choi in a casserole with peppers, shiitake mushrooms and a dash of dry sherry.
A few healthy recipe recommendations:
- Fast pak choi vegetables
- Mashed potatoes with pak choi
- Lime Peanut Tofu with Pak Choi
Shop and store Pak Choi
Fresh Pak Choi vegetables are presented with even, bright green and crisp leaves. The juicy stems have no brown spots. For the storage, Pak Choi stays fresh for up to two days, the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator is suitable. Like asparagus, it is best to wrap it in a damp kitchen towel.
The nutritional values make Pak Choi a health promoter. The vegetables contain 25 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, i.e. around a quarter of the average daily requirement. It scores with the B vitamins folic acid, iron and calcium, beta-carotene is contained in the leaves, but Pak Choi shows restraint with regard to calories (12) and fat content with only 0.5 grams.