Also known as Spinach mustard, Spoon mustard, or Rosette bok choy, Tatsoi is one of the most popular Chinese leafy greens. In most common types—white-stemmed, green-stemmed, and “soup spoon”— both leaves and stems are edible. One of the most delicately flavored Asian greens, more delicate than bok choy. Tatsoi is good for stir-frying (in oil, with garlic and soy sauce), braising, or simmering in soups. Choose unblemished leaves and firm stalks for best results, and blanch before stir-frying. Tatsoi leaves are very delicate, and are delicious raw in salads, or stir fried over very high heat for just a minute or so.
Several varieties of chinese cabbage have been cultivated for over six thousand years in China. They were a common part of the diet in southern China by the 5th century. The Ming Dynasty pharmacologist Li Shizhen studied the Chinese cabbage for its medicinal qualities. They were introduced to Korea, where it became the staple vegetable for making kimchi. In the early 20th century, it was taken to Japan by returning soldiers who had fought in China during the Russo-Japanese War.
Tatsoi has very beneficial nutritional value. This include a significant amount of calcium and Carotenoids (which are important for healthy eyes). Tatsoi is also known for being one of the best natural sources of vitamin C. In addition, Tatsoi has anti-cancer effects and boosts the human immune system.
Storing & Cooking Information
Handling: Examine the ends of the bok choy/komatsuna/spey/tatsoi; cut off any brown spots. Break the bok choy into pieces. Clean each stem thoroughly to remove any dirt. When very small, baby bok choy can be cooked whole. If large, halve lengthwise.
Storing: Asian greens can last up to 1 week if wrapped in damp towel or put in plastic bag in hydrator drawer of fridge.
Freezing: These tender plants do not freeze well.