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pak choi

 

Synonyms: bok choi, pak choy, Chinese mustard

botanical name: Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis


Pak-Choi

 

China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan are the main growing areas for pak choi. This is also where the plant originated. In Germany it is still a relatively unknown vegetable and not commonly grown. In the Netherlands, however, pak choi has been cultivated for quite some time.


Availability


In the summer, pak choi grown outdoors is available, and in winter the production continues in hothouses. With some luck, you will find this variety of cabbage in well-assorted greengroceries, occasionally also in organic grocery shops.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


This vegetable is related botanically to the Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis). However, it is closer in appearance to spinach beet, or Swiss chard. Pak choi does not form a closed head, but rather large, round leaves that join at the bottom in a fleshy stalk. Pak choi belongs to the group of leaf stalk, or stem, vegetables and reaches a height of up to 40 cm. The mild flavour of this vegetable is comparable to that of Chinese cabbage.

There are three different types:

* The most familiar to us are varieties with dark-green leaves and a short, white stalk.

* There are also varieties with a green stalk and a compact growth.

* Finally, there are varieties with elongated stalks and light-coloured leaves.


Ingredients


100 g contain:


Pak choi, fresh
Energie (kcal)
12
Wasser (g)
95
Eiweiß (g)
1,1
Fett (g)
0,3
Kohlenhydrate (g)
1,2
Ballaststoffe (g)
1,9
Vitamin C (mg)
26
Vitamin B1 (μg)
32
Vitamin B2 (μg)
38
Vitamin B6 (μg)
121
Folsäure (μg)
66
Niacin (NÄ) (mg)
0,4
Kalium (mg)
144
Magnesium (mg)
11
Phosphor (mg)
30
Eisen (mg)
0,6



Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


Pak choi is sold loose and by weight; one piece usually weighs between 200 and 600 g. It compares in delicacy to Chinese cabbage and should be eaten quickly after it is bought to avoid wilting of the leaves. Damaged leaves begin to spoil quickly.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Both the leaves and the stalks of pak choi are edible. Remove the root ends and any brown spots. Then wash it thoroughly before further preparation.

The stalks can be prepared like asparagus, while the leaves are suitable as a side vegetable with meat or fish dishes. They may also be puréed and cooked as a soup, or used like Chinese cabbage as a salad.

If you use the leaves and the stalks together, it is best to blanch the stalks for 5 minutes longer to guarantee that they have the same degree of tenderness.

The Asians make kim-chi, a type of sauerkraut prepared from pak choi.

Blanched pak choi freezes well and can be kept longer this way.

 

 

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