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Tatsoi (Brassica rapa rosularis)

Pronounced: `tí¤t-'soy

Etymology: Chinese (Guangdong region) daat-choi, from daat, to fall

flat + choi, a vegetable (or from a cognate compound in another

Chinese dialect).

Tatsoi translates to: robust green rosette of mouth-watering tender

leaves grown by Blue Moon Organics in Aptos. Tatsoi is one of the many

country cousins of the Wild Mustard in the Brassica and cabbage clan.

More mild than domesticated Mustard Greens (Brassica juncea), Tatsoi

can be eaten raw. Similar to its green kin, Tatsoi is wonderful on its

own or as an addition to soups or sautés.

Tatsoi is one chapter in the Choy of Cooking, along with Pac Choy, Bok

Choy, and Yo Choy, all tender Chinese cabbages that are a cinch to

prepare and cook. Every part of these vegetables can be used save the

tough base and yellow leaves (if any). Chop coarsely on the diagonal

and saute with ginger or garlic for a simple dish. A dash of oyster

sauce and a pinch of salt or sugar adds a richer flavor. Generally the

green leaves cook faster (remove when just wilting) than the white

stems. Asian greens are tender and need only a few minutes cooking:

about 3 minutes boiling, 5 minutes steaming, and 2 minutes sauteing

for the leaves and 5 minutes for the stalk. Larger leaves may also be

used as wrapping for a stuffing and the bundles steamed. When adding

Choys to soup, add near the end of the cooking time.

The Choys are super-hydrated members of the Brassica family at 66%

water content. And as a cabbage, they are high in potassium and

Vitamin C (50% daily value), low in sodium, and chocked full of

fiber--2.7 grams per cup. In Chinese medicine the nature of the Choys

is known as cool and pungent--they quench thirst and promote good

digestion. Tatsoi and other choys are cool-weather vegetables, so you

can looked forward to them continuing for the coming months. Tat -

soi, wonderful diphthongs and tasty too.


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