About Bok Choy/Pac Choi
Storage: For best flavor, use within about 3-5 days. Don't wash until ready to use. Wrap bunch in a cloth or paper towel and store in a loose, open plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Members of the brassica/cabbage family, bok choy and pac choi are different varieties of the same plant; sometimes called “Chinese Chard”. They're loaded with more than half your daily requirement of A, C, and K, and has as much calcium as an 8 oz. glass of milk. It's high fiber component acts as a sweeper of your bloodstream, eliminating bad cholesterol. And then of course, there’s the antioxidants, beta carotene, folate, vitamin B6... Only 9 calories per cup!
All parts are delicious. Stalks are crisp, have a very high water content, and very mild peppery flavor; excellent in salads and slaws. To help keep bok choy from draining excess liquid into your salads, put into a colander and sprinkle with salt, then toss and rub into the bok choy a bit. Allow to sit over a bowl or in the sink for about 15 minutes to drain. Rinse and drain again, then pat dry with cloth or paper towels.
Bok choy is a common ingredient in Asian soups and stir fries, but beware- they get limp and watery when over-cooked. When stir frying, add as the final ingredient and cook very quickly over heat high –just until crisp tender; and in soups, add toward end of simmer time.
I like to cook the leaves and stalks separately, tossing in the leaves earlier than the stalks to both soups and stir frys, so that the leaves do become tender. Also terrific when grilled or roasted.
Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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