This striking, juicily sweet leafy green is made for stir-fries and steaming. It’s a Chinese vegetable related to the cabbage, and it goes well with Asian flavours like ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chilli and sesame. Its succulent crunch is also good raw in salads, cooked as a spinach-like side, or added to a noodle soup or curry.
Storage & prep
Will keep for a week or two
Storage: We grow little flurries of these tender Chinese cabbages on our French farm, and in Devon later in the growing year. Put straight into your fridge in the bag it is delivered in. Use within 3 or 4 days of your delivery.
Prep: The pronounced V shaped stalks will take more time to cook than the tender green leaves so for most recipes it makes sense to separate the leaves from the stalks. Cut away the root end to separate the leaves and cut, rather than tear, the leaves away. If using whole, the root can stay attached and the head can be cut lengthways into long, handsome, tapering wedges.
The stalks can be sliced and stir-fried for 2-3 mins before adding the leaves for the final 30 seconds or so to wilt. None of it needs to be cooked for long. In many cases the succulent crunch of the stalks is what you want in a dish. Asian flavours are its most common bedfellows. Throwing soy, hoisin, teriyaki, chilli, ginger or garlic at it, in varying combinations, can rarely go wrong. Alternatively, they can make a perfectly simple side of greens for even the most prosaic dishes.
Pak choi recipe
Teriyaki tofu bowl
This is a bowl of contrasting textures. Sticky dark mushrooms, crisp roasted tofu with a melting centre, crunchy pak choi and a rich egg yolk; all tethered by a comforting rice base. With organisation all elements should mesh harmoniously.
Serves 2 - 40 min
Pak choi works well with:
Cheese – especially feta, goat’s cheese, mozzarella
Chilli and paprika
Herbs – especially basil, marjoram, oregano
Olives and olive oil
Pork, lamb, chicken