Bok choy, also called Chinese cabbage, is rich in benefits. Let’s find out how to use it to prepare tasty dishes.
Pak choi scientific name is Brassica rapa chinensis. It is a variety of Chinese cabbage, widespread in the Far East. Also known as bok choy and choi bok, this vegetable is now grown all over the world.
It has a basket shape, like a chard, but more closed. Its long, bright green fleshy leaves tend to become white towards its center. The outer stalks are hard and need to be removed. Both leaves and stalks are edible. Thanks to its delicate flavour, Chinese cabbage is excellent raw or cooked.
Chinese cabbage: properties
Chinese cabbage is rich in mineral salts (calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur) and vitamins (A, B2, C and K). Furthermore, it is an important source of folic acid, fibres, antioxidants and polyphenols.
Its high content of vitamins and minerals is perfect to boost your energy, to fight anemia, weakness and fatigue and to strengthen the immune system.
Fibers help regulating intestinal activities and detoxifing the body. Chinese cabbage has cleansing and diuretic properties, ideal against cellulite and water retention.
Finally, it is poor in calories and great for low calorie diets: 100 grams of cabbage contain only 19 kcal.
Chinese cabbage: recipes
There are thousands of pak choi recipes. The best way to enjoy Chinese cabbage is eating it raw or lightly steamed and seasoned only with olive oil and salt. In this way, you can avoid losing its vitamins and minerals. Alternatively, it can be used in salads or soups, either on its own or with other vegetables.
A typical Cantonese pak choi recipe is chow mein. Its ingredients are:
– 500 grams of noodles,
– 4 spring onions,
– 1 garlic clove,
– 100 grams of Chinese cabbage,
– 30 grams of bamboo shoots,
– 50 grams of carrots,
– 50 grams of porcini mushrooms,
– 50 grams of shelled shrimps,
– 250 grams of pork loin,
– soy sauce,
– soybean oil,
First, wash all the vegetables and french cut them. Chop the meat and the bamboo shoots and set aside, apart from the rest. In the meantime, cook the noodles in salted water and drain them. Fry garlic and the spring onions in a wok or in a frying pan, then add vegetables and shrimps. In another pot, fry meat and mushrooms with a little bit of soy sauce, a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of sake.
Finally, mix the contents of the two pots and stir well, letting cook for a couple of minutes. Then, pour noodles in the pot, add olive oil, salt and pepper and other sake. Serve it hot in a tureen.
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