Tatsoi (pictured) is also known as Spinach mustard, spoon mustard, rosette bok choy or Japanese Spinach.
It has thick, dark green round leaves with crisp juicy stalks, very similar to bok choy. The flavour is slightly bitter, like mustard greens but milder. It is best sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic or used in stir fries and the young tatsoi works well in raw salads. The Latin name is Brassica narinosa. This little green gem can be considered a Super Green as a cup of either raw or cooked tatsoi provides one third of daily recommended calcium which is beneficial for bones, the nervous system and heart health. Not to mention that raw tatsoi has been shown to outrank kale with the most concentrated levels of vitamin C with 103mg of Vit C in a 100 gr serving of tatsoi (that is only one little packet of leaves – what a bomb!!). Regular consumption of foods rich in Vit-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
We would fail our readers if we do not also remind about the value of the Brassica’s in protecting against breast, colon and prostate cancers.
Similar looking to Tatsoi is Bok-Choy or Pak Choi also known as the leafy Chinese-cabbage or pe-tsai, petsay, white celery mustard…. etc.
This is one of the popular vegetables in mainland China, Philippines, Vietnam and other East-Asian regions. Bok Choy has a very mellow flavour with its own unique mild, peppery spice, similar to cabbage. It is one of the most versatile and widely used greens as it can be sitr fried, steamed, sautéed, added to soups or eaten raw in a salad. The Latin name is Brassica rapa ssp. Chinensis.
This too can be considered a Super Green as, besides the high Vit. C content and the fact that it is part of the Brassica family, it has more Vit. A, carotenes and other flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants than the normal cabbage and cauliflower! Just 100g of fresh leaves provides a whopping 149% of your daily requirements of Vit. A. It is also an EXCELLENT source of Vit. K of which the primary function is to aid in the formation of blood clotting factors and bone proteins.
Although these two greens can be available year round, it is at its best during the winter season.