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Baby bok choy


Baby bok choy

Storage

Bok choy does not store well and should be eaten with a few days. You can store it in a perforated plastic bag or plastic container in the high-humidity drawer of your refrigerator for a few days. Preparing baby bok choy is simple. Just discard blemished leaves, wash thoroughly, and shake off the excess water. While baby bok choy is much cleaner than adult bok choy, dirt still does have a tendency to collect on the inside of the stems.

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Origins and Culture

One of the oldest Chinese vegetables, bok choy has been cultivated in China since the fifth century A.D. and in the West since the mid-eighteenth century. Bok choy is one of Asia's most popular vegetables. Its light crisp cabbage-like flavour is the perfect foil for the sweet and spicy flavours of Asian cuisine. Also known as Chinese white cabbage, pak choi, white celery mustard, among other names, bok choy is a low calorie, nutritional powerhouse that is easy to prepare. While there are several varieties of bok choy, the shanghai bok choy being the most tender of them, they are all called baby bok choy when harvested small.

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Nutritional and Medicinal Properties

Nutritionally, baby bok choy is a member of the Crucifer family, a collection of highly nutritious, cancer-fighting vegetables that include cabbage, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, rutabagas, watercress and more. Like all crucifers, baby bok choy is full of antioxidants that protect our bodies from free radicals, which damage our DNA and cells. Free radicals can cause premature aging, cancer, cataracts, a weak immune system, and heart disease. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals. Baby Bok choy is a good source of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid and calcium. It has more beta-carotene than other members of the cabbage family and is a great source of cancer-fighting indoles.

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How it is grown and when it is in season

With its high tolerance for cold weather, baby bok choy is one of the first vegetables to come off the field in spring. It is also grown late into the fall.

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Basic Cooking Instructions

Baby bok choy is more tender and incomparably milder than adult bok choy. It's also easier to cook with, as long as you don't overpower its delicate, subtle taste and texture. Unlike working with adult bok choy, where it is necessary to separate the stalk and leaves, because the leaves cook in a fraction of the time that the stalks do, small bunches of baby bok choy can be cooked whole by steaming or braising. Or else they can be shredded and tossed into a stir fry or eaten raw in a salad. The key is to keep it simple and cook it quickly. Baby Bok choy combines nicely with shiitake mushrooms, most meat and seafood, and other vegetables, especially carrots.

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