A while ago, I posted some photos of my 4 tatsoi cabbage that were growing in our open cold frame. They were growing faster & bigger each week. Now, it was harvest time. In the photo here above, you see 3 big bunches of this wonderful tatsoi cabbage. What is tatsoi, I here you say?
Tatsoi, botanical name Brassica narinosa is a cool-season flat-forming Chinese cabbage and member of the Brassicaceae (mustard) family. It is commonly known as spoon mustard, spinach mustard and rosette bok choy. In Chinese, its name is wu ta cai and in Japan it is known as tasai. It is treated as a cut-and-come again leafy vegetable, allowing for multiple harvests on a single plant. The plant’s maturity is signaled by flowering shoots arising from the foliage. Eventually the plant will sprout seeds, marking its life cycle’s migration. The seeds can be saved and used for future crops. The plant itself can stand temperatures of -10°C! We have still 1 plant that is still growing further! But to protect it a bit from the harsh colder winds, we have wrapped it in a horticultural fleece.
Tatsoi is a small low-growing plant that forms a rosette of petite leaves with short pale lime green stems. Its spoon-shaped, near seaweed green colored leaves are glossy with a buttery, tender and succulent texture. Fresh tatsoi displays sweet and tangy flavors with a mineral finish. Once cooked, it develops a warm earthiness like spinach. Tatsoi is a very versatile green in the kitchen. It has a mild bitter taste & my husband Peter & I love it. It can be used with any other green that you might like to make a salad, such as spinach, arugula, watercress, pea tendrils, mizuna or even also be substituted for any recipe calling for spinach. Its tangy and peppery notes pair well with citrus, crisp cool ingredients such as apple, fennel and mint, warm flavors that are abundantly found in chiles, garlic and allspice. Pair tatsoi with ingredients rich in umami such as scallops, mushrooms, seaweed and braised meats. Fermented ingredients such as fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegars are also complimentary matches. It will grow to around 30cm in height and has long spoon shaped leaves with a slender stem.
When I first sown it, it was used to cut away young Asian salad leaves. The rest we left to grow as 4 full plants. My plants, 3 of them, were full-grown. The root was very large, white & about 3-5 cm in diameter. Snails & slugs like the leaves too. So, cut away the big root, wash the leaves well, each of them. Check for little snails & slugs & spin them dry. Check each leaf again & cut them. U can use the white stems too.
How to use in your kitchen?
Stir fry the leaves in Asian inspired dishes.
One dinner, I sautéed them with spring onions, yellow bell pepper strips & carrot pieces in a combo of grated fresh ginger, brown rice vinegar, roasted sesame oil & served with cooked brown rice noodles & ginger garlic marinated salmon with oil, roasted into the hot oven on 200°C for about 15 minutes. Yum Yum!
The dinner last night, was leaves & white stems cut & sautéed with a peppery oil & red bell pepper strips, last of our Summer leeks cut up & garlic. We seasoned it all with smoked paprika, black pepper & some pink salt.
We served it with fried fish sticks & roasted smoked paprika potatoes ( 3 sorts), very yum yum too! 🙂
Maybe, you all have other tasty suggestions on how I can use the leaves & stems of this lovely tatsoi cabbage? Something NOT ASIAN ???
Thank you! 😉
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