3. Sweet yam leaves, or sweet potato leaves, have a long string of nicknames in other parts of the world. Time and again, my worldwide web pursuits for solid recipes that I know my family will eat has landed me back here.”. It has long leaves and hollow stems so we name it “空(kōng)心(xīn)菜(cài)”, literally translated as hallow heart vegetable. Recently, we saw young and tender water spinach in the market which is a delight to prepare and eat. Braising is a great way to capture the essential flavours typical of good Chinese vegetables (especially leafy greens) without the hassle of stir-frying. And so with that I present Stir-Frying – the first of three “Universal” methods for cooking Chinese greens. It is a common misconception that calcium can only be obtained from dairy, but this is simply not true. Besides nuts & seeds like almonds and chia seeds, many leafy greens are also high in calcium. These are older and a little bit tougher, but still quite tender as leafy greens go. The leaves and stems are super tender, and you will find them served in China stir fried in garlic, salt in lots of oil. We love the smaller, tender and slightly sweet green bok choy vegetables for cooking at home. You can see how we prepared and used this dwarf bok choy in our quick and easy beef vegetable stir fry. Savoy cabbage is similar to everyday white cabbage found in most supermarkets but has subtle differences. This is when they’re at their best. It’s a rather mild tasting vegetable when cooked, but tastes somewhat peppery when eaten raw (think arugula). Start with the best fresh Chinese vegetables. So it helps you to navigate and purchase common Chinese leafy greens, learn the basic cooking techniques, and open more doors to creating nutritious meals that taste good. Your email address will not be published. The Mandarin name is actually tā kē cài (塌棵菜 ) and is also referred to as  tat choy in Cantonese. When cooking these Chinese vegetables, they are cut into 3-4 inch lengths and cooked with garlic and fermented bean curd or belacan shrimp paste. Chrysanthemum Greens. Another family favorite that uses Shepherd’s purse is the Shanghai Sticky Rice Cake Stir-Fry. Chinese and western celery 芹菜, pronounced qín cài in Mandarin and “kun choy” in Cantonese both have the same name even though they are quite different. It’s also the vegetable of choice for lo mein noodle dishes; we use it in our recipes for Beef Lo Mein and Vegetable Lo Mein. Yes, they are light in weight but $6.49 a pound is starting to approach close to the price of a good cut of beef! We’ve rarely found this here in the US, but there are a handful of Amazon sellers offering live plants and seeds, which you can find via the links below. Mustard greens. In general, the white bok choy comes in larger plants and in general, the green bok choy are usually sold when they are younger and more tender. 2. Chinese Vegetables: Leafy Greens ... Chinese Vegetables: Leafy Greens. (Makes us miss Beijing wet markets, where we could get plentiful seasonal vegetables for a fraction of what they cost in the US!). Tatsoi  or brassica rapa is an Asian variety of choy sum grown that is seen mostly in China but is starting to become popular in western countries. Generally, the vegetable leaves are cut off close to the stem and the stem is discarded. Pea shoots, wān dòu miáo (豌豆苗) or simply dòu miáo (similar pronunciation in Cantonese) is a tasty vegetable that is readily available these days in many restaurants and Chinese markets. Check out these Amazon links for seeds to grow your own “white bok choy” and “green bok choy” in in your garden this summer! They tend to be sold in smaller sizes as they’re more tender, but the larger size can still be found in most Asian markets. Taiwanese spinach tastes similar to common spinach we usually see in supermarkets, but it is milder in flavor. Water spinach also known as Chinese water spinach, rive spinach is the most popular leafy greens in hot summer days. They are also known as Indian mustard and leaf mustard. Those were the days! Choy sum or cài xīn (菜心, in Mandarin) or yóu cài (油菜, yow choy in Cantonese), is a another common and popular Chinese leafy green vegetable. A little more recently, we found watercress in Sedona, AZ while on a family trip. As soon as the sauce heats up and blends well, transfer … I will update this entry when I learn more about it. When buying these, look for bunches that don’t have any budding flowers, which is an indication that they’re too mature and may be tough. Make sure there’s no sand or dirt between the layers of each bunch. Edible Chrysanthemum or tóng hāo (茼蒿) or simply “tong ho” in Cantonese, comes in two main varieties. Turn the heat to medium. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Life is just too short to be eating old napa cabbage that will ruin your lo mein, so be prompt with these when you bring them home from the supermarket! Popular leafy green in Southeast Asia: Ipomoea batatas var. About The Author Hi! What is Kai Choy? ... Chinese broccoli is a very strong-tasting green vegetable that belongs to the same family as broccoli. Look for it in the frozen vegetable section of your Asian grocery. (If you’re lucky, you can find baby Chinese broccoli, also called Chinese broccoli tips, in certain Asian grocery stores.) Make another cut to separate stems from leafy parts. Below, you can see the difference in varieties between the white bok choy versus the green bok choy. They belong to the family Cruciferae. Yu choy is literally translated as “oil vegetable” because it is in the family of rapeseed and is actually used to produce oil. Add the garlic cloves to the oil and fry … Like any leafy green, these are typically pretty sandy, so be sure to wash thoroughly! This basic recipe features tatsoi (or bok … Check out our Basic Stir-Fried Bok Choy Recipe that uses the large white bok choy variety pictured on the left below. From our experience, the broad leaf variety has a stronger aromatic flavor than the smaller leaf variety. You may see it referred to as “green bok choy” or “Shanghai baby bok choy.” Be sure to try our super-simple Garlic Baby Bok choy recipe as a healthy side dish! Mù’ěr cài is translated directly as “wood ear vegetable” and is similar in consistency and texture to cooked okra. It’s a key ingredient in the dumpling recipe we’ve been making for years: The ONLY Dumpling Recipe You’ll Ever Need. Other recipes we have that use pickled or preserved mustard greens include Mei Cai Kou Rou (Steamed Pork Belly w/ Preserved Mustard Greens) and Noodle Soup with Pork and Pickled Greens. They’re leafier, with more tender stems, making them a good candidate for stir-fries. But every so often we get a particularly good batch nonetheless! Gal Lan (Chinese Broccoli) Good broccoli on the left, bad broccoli on the right. Wo shun is the large edible stem portion of the plant when it matures and is usually sliced like a bamboo shoot and used in authentic pork with garlic sauce. Green vegetables have a good amount of dirt in them and you definitely don’t want any in your final dish. Collard greens are loose leaf greens, related to kale and spring greens. 7. Arrange the vegetables on a plate. We’ve done a little reorganizing to give Chinese vegetables its own page, so you can quickly access and identify your favorites! Make sure that you are eating sweet potato leaves and NOT potato leaves in the nightshade family that contain solanine, which is toxic to humans. The texture was crunchy, fresh and full of moisture, and they had a very mild flavor. The price of Chinese broccoli, like all vegetables, is seasonal but prices are quite reasonable and usually cheaper in Asian grocery stores. 5. Make sure to pick cabbages that feel firm and are pure in color (i.e. Another fun fact is that a variety of yu choy or rapeseed is grown primarily to produce canola oil, one of our go-tos when cooking. Disconnect from your emails and messages and reconnect with your taste buds with a breakfast or lunch at Leafy Greens Café. 15 Minute Chinese Hot Oil Noodles (You Po Mian), Pan Fried Noodles with Chicken (Gai See Chow Mein), Sichuan Napa Cabbage Stir-fry (Suan La Bai Cai), The ONLY Dumpling Recipe You’ll Ever Need, Mei Cai Kou Rou (Steamed Pork Belly w/ Preserved Mustard Greens), Healthy Stir Fried Watercress with Garlic. These Taiwanese cabbages, also sometimes known as Chinese cabbages might not look like your everyday cabbage, but they taste much sweeter and crunchier even after they’ve been cooked. Aside from that, it is used as the green veggie in quite a few noodle dishes like 15 Minute Chinese Hot Oil Noodles (You Po Mian) or Pan Fried Noodles with Chicken (Gai See Chow Mein). Try our recipe for this classic Shanghai dish, Ma Lan Tou Spiced Tofu. The tender leave usually has a sweet and mild taste. There are several diseases that attack leafy vegetables, and they are majorly caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Our theory on this is that during the spring and summer, farmers are growing beans and peas for the beans and peas! All images & content are copyright protected. You can check out our recipe for Stir-Fried Pink Amaranth Greens. You can see a nice picture of the trimming job in our simple yet favorite Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce. They are hairy but glistening (almost like they’d been frozen). It’s a vegetable frequently used when making pot stickers or pork buns but is definitely the vegetable of choice when making Shanghai Style Spring Rolls or Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Nian Gao). Just get your yam or sweet potato leaves at a reputable Asian grocery store, and you’ll be just fine. Although it looks similar, it should not be confused with Chinese broccoli. 100 Kalimeris Indica Natural Wild Vegetable Seeds. Chinese mustard greens or jiè cài (芥菜) in Mandarin and gai choy in Cantonese, sometimes called Indian mustard, leaf mustard, or mustard cabbage, is a very healthy vegetable. Leafy Greens Café & Shop is now open 7 days a week from 8:30am to 5pm. Last updated by Wes Radez on October 19th, 2015 | 0. Chicken feather vegetable or鸡毛菜, pronounced jīmáo cài (sometimes called máo máo cài) in Mandarin is a very common vegetable found in markets around China, and there really is no common English name for ji mao cai, probably because it is not readily available outside China. I’m not sure if there is a Cantonese pronunciation because I never heard of or tried jì cài before I met Judy. It also goes by the name of ong choy in Cantonese or kōng xīn cài (空心菜) in Mandarin, which translates to “hollow heart vegetable”. They have thick leaves that taste slightly bitter. Spinach has the following protein content ():One cup (25 g) of raw spinach contains 0.7 g of protein. At Leafy Greens we believe in keeping things raw and natural wherever possible. Three of the most popular greens you'll find in Chinese restaurants and in Asian markets are Chinese broccoli, choy sum, and bok choy. Nowadays, shepherd’s purse is cultivated and it seems that everyone in Shanghai over 50 years old says the cultivated varieties don’t come close to the strong aromatic flavors of the wild varieties they used to eat. “Even though it may seem more awkward or unwieldy to wash the greens whole, there is less exposure of cut surfaces of the veggies to dirt and pesticide/herbicide residue”. We don’t use it much because it is kind of bitter (well, very bitter)–so much so that it’s usually cooked with lots of ginger and some sugar to take the edge off. 2-3 bunches is usually the optimal amount for a nice side dish. Welcome to our Chinese vegetables and Chinese leafy greens page! Flavor agents include soy or oyster sauce, ginger, and garlic. Greens, like curly kale, can be dehydrated whole in cheesy kale chips or blended into cracker recipes, providing a nice alternative to the fried potato or corn chip. From our experience, the larger white bok choy is more readily available in supermarkets and are great for salads; but either is a delicious choice for a stir-fried green veggie side dish! This list is definitely not comprehensive, but this is a great go-to reference for some of the more popular Chinese leafy greens out there. Watercress or xī yáng cài (西洋菜) also pronounced “sai yeung choy” in Cantonese, is another one of those vegetables our family eats quite often. Even though it shares the same family as regular broccoli (which is known as xī lán huā, 西兰花 or literally western broccoli), Chinese broccoli has long green stems and dark, thick leaves. There are two varieties: one with a deep magenta color in the center of the leaves, and the other a light green. Malabar spinach tastes similar to spinach and is used often in soups and in hot pot, but like almost every vegetable on this list can be simply stir-fried with garlic, salt, and oil. Chinese mustard greens are also used to make picked vegetables, which we DO eat fairly often. For the majority of your Chinese dishes, however, you’ll want to go to a Chinese grocery to find the smaller, more tender specimens with fat, light green stems. It has a really unique flavor, and, although it’s available fresh in China, it’s usually only available frozen in the U.S (which is just as well, because we’ve found that these delicate leaves are very sandy and a pain in the neck to clean!). PEOPLE LOVE LEAFY GREENS. Dec 24, 2015 - Learn more about Chinese vegetables varieties by perusing through our collection of common leafy green Chinese vegetables and how to use them in our recipes Bring a pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and several drops of vegetable oil (so that the … Instead of the broccoli florets, this vegetable has long, thin stalks and dark green leaves. In any event, the safest path is to have them in restaurants or to buy them from the market. If you can’t find it in your local Asian market and you have a garden, buy some Shepherd’s purse seeds and grow it yourself! Just give it a quick rinse–no trimming is needed since everything is tender and edible. Thai stir-fried greens have been in my weeknight cooking repertoire since I began cooking. These dwarf bok choy look like a miniature version of the classic white bok choy you find in supermarkets but they are actually a special variety or hybrid of bok choy. Similar to the western variety, the stalks are mostly consumed since the leaves are usually way too bitter. There … Tastyyy…All jokes aside though, you can find these in Chinese grocery stores and, we have found, in Indian grocery stores! If you’re looking for more information on other Chinese ingredients, go to our main Chinese Ingredients Glossary page to review the different categories and easily find what you’re looking for. Jì cài can be added to soups and porridges, but it’s probably most popular as a filling for dumplings, won tons, and steamed buns alongside ground pork. Chinese Herb (Ma Lan Tou, 马兰头),Also Called Indian Kalimeris, 20 Live Plants. Amaranth greens perhaps have the highest concentrations of vitamin-K of all the edible green-leafy vegetables. :) We have a very early post on preparing Stir-Fried Water spinach, but if you prefer a fancier dish from Hong Kong, then try our Stir fried Ong Choy with XO Sauce! We recently posted a Stir-Fried Pea Tips dish that looks great and tastes even better, especially if you’re a lover of leafy greens, like us. Leafy greens are arguably the most nutritious of all vegetables. In fact, the stalks can get as long as eighteen inches. Chinese leafy green vegetables grow in sandy soil, and like any other vegetable have to be washed thoroughly. This vegetable is in the same family as brassica chinensi, which includes various kinds of bok choy. On the bright side, most, if not all bitter vegetables, including these mustard green Chinese vegetables are very healthy! Dec 12, 2015 - Learn more about Chinese vegetables varieties by perusing through our collection of common leafy green Chinese vegetables and how to use them in our recipes One variety is small or medium leaf tong ho pictured below with small and deeply serrated leaves. These white bok choy haveare a bit stubbier, and the dark green leaves are distinctively curly and sweet tasting! 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