Thanks to the hottest TV series – MasterChef, new-age produce is deliciously hitting the Indian kitchen. Pak Choi is one of those ingredients that are welcome into our pantry giving our dishes the twist we love.
Pak choi is known as Chinese cabbage and belongs to the mustard family. Also known as Bok Choy, this leafy green veggie has many different names. It is available all year long.
Pak choi has a bouquet-like shape with a white bulbous stem at the base. The stem is juicy and crunchy to taste and is mildly fibrous. It forms an oval-shaped dark green leaf with prominent white veins. The green leaves are crispy and bendy with a glossy exterior. When consumed raw it tastes like peppery mustard with a hint of sweetness. When cooked, it becomes tender texture and the flavour turns to taste like cabbage and spinach. The green leaves become more robust in flavour than the white chunky bulbs which are bland. Today pak choi is an easy-to-go green leafy vegetable which is nutritious and quick to cook.
Minimal on calories this green is packed with beneficial dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins. It is abundantly packed with antioxidants and it boosts the immune system and cell repair.
Nonetheless, pak choi has countless vital nutrients and hence is considered for its medicinal value. Studies show that this green could cut the risk of cancer, and lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease. It could also improve vision amp bone strength and fight inflammation.
How to add pak choi to your regular diet?
This nutrient-rich veggie looks like a soup spoon and can be a wow add-on to your soups, salads, smoothies, and even stir-fried vegetables. Here are some quirky tips on how to prepare it.
- Pak choi can be eaten raw or cooked like steaming, boiling, sautéing and so on. Add the pungent zest with its raw steam to your salads. Mince the pak choi and prepare a raw salad with other veggies.
- Use the spoon shape of the leaves to your advantage. The leaves can be used to pack in the platter of appetizers.
- Cook and mix in soups, and pasta dishes. Dice and toss it in your soups. It goes best with some al dente pasta. Alternatively, you can lightly stir-fried and add to anything. Shred and include it in any stir-fry. Drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper to obtain its natural flavour.
- Pak choi can be served as an accompaniment to the meat preparation.
- Pak choi pairs well with bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, tofu and such.
- Shred pak choi and add in sandwiches. Oh, the mustardy crunch!
- Consume pak choi raw to get maximum nutrient value as the cooking process may decrease the vitamin and mineral levels.
Bok Choy’s selection and Storage
Always pick Pak Choi which has crisp dark green leaves and firm white stalks. Avoid the ones which have limp stalks or wilted leaves.
Cut the greens in half from the stalks and rinse off with soft water to remove the dirt. Gently dab the surface with a soft piece of cloth before dropping it into a plastic bag. The leaves and stems can be stored for up to one week in a zipper bag. Tie them loosely and keep them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. It can then be stored in a paper towel as well.