Tatsoi (Brassica rapa rosularis)
Etymology: Chinese (Guangdong region) daat-choi, from daat, to fall
flat + choi, a vegetable (or from a cognate compound in another
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.