Chinese white cabbage, Chinese chard
bai cai, pak chai
Also known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy has been grown in China for thousands of years. While its origins are in China, today bok choy is used throughout Asia, particularly in the southeast.
This leafy green vegetable is relatively tough when raw, but it’s soft when steamed or boiled. Because of that, bok choy’s most often used in soups, stews, and stir fries. It has a versatile, mild flavor and is high in vitamins C, A, and K, plus has moderate amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, and fiber. Among the types of bok choy are “white” and the light green-stemmed “Shanghai” varieties. There are also what many call “baby” bok choy, which is actually not a different type of plant at all, but rather the same plant — often the Shanghai variety — that’s harvested at an earlier stage. The result is a less fibrous, softer stock and leaf with a slightly sweeter flavor.
Uwajimaya carries different types of bok choy in our produce department; come find some for your next soup or stir fry!