Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tatsoi / Rosette Pak Choy

Tatsoi (Brassica rapa var. rosularis), also called spinach mustard, spoon mustard, or rosette bok choy, is an Asian variety of Brassica rapa grown for greens. This plant has become popular in North American cuisine as well, and is now grown throughout the world.

The plant has dark green spoon-shaped leaves which form a thick rosette. It has a soft creamy texture and has a subtle yet distinctive flavour.

It takes 45-50 days to harvest and can withstand temperatures down to -9.4 degrees C (15 degrees F). Tatsoi can be harvested even from under the snow, making it one of the best vegetables to grow in a cool climate.

How to grow
This vegetable is strongly resistant to cold weather. Seeds are sown from spring through fall. This is a vegetable with unique appearance - spoon shaped dark green leaves arranged in a rosette of concentric circles. Stalks are short and plants grow relatively slower than other Pak Choy varieties. Young leaves are very delicious. Plants can be harvested anytime during the growth.

Cooking information
Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves are tougher and stronger flavoured than standard pak choy and hence many prefer cooked (stir-fried, steamed or in soups) rather than raw. Young leaves can be used in salad.

Nutrition information
Tatsoi is very high in calcium and vitamins and is twice as nutritious and twice as delicious as ordinairy Bok Choy.

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