Posted in Gardening, Recipes

Ode to the wonderful Tatsoi cabbage!

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?

The cold frame!
The cold frame!

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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Hello! My name is Sophie & I love to cook & bake mostly healthily but with a twist! There is a bit of gardening & travelling in here too! Enjoy! :)

28 thoughts on “Ode to the wonderful Tatsoi cabbage!

  1. I have eaten but never cooked tatsoi, your dish looks wonderful and totally delicious the whole meal sounds great. Beautiful plant, very healthy,

  2. Thanks for introducing me to a new vegetable – I certainly have not heard of this cabbage. I love the look of your stir-fry xx

  3. We also love, love tatsoi cabbage, raw in a salda, or blanched & then use the leaves for fillings like mixed chicken mince & breadcrumbs, etc! Very tasty too! 🙂

  4. Thanks for introducing me to a new cabbage! I didn’t know this veggie at all! 🙂
    Now, I am intrigued by it. 😉

  5. I will have to see if I can find any of this cabbage while in Taiwan. Thanks for introducing me to another new type of veggie! I love how you and your husband grow your own veggies!!!!!! So inspiring and you guys are definitely living the healthy lifestyle! 🙂 XO, Violet

  6. Such a beautiful vegetable! Thanks for introducing us to this type of cabbage! Unfortunately I don’t have any suggestions for use in recipes….because I’ve never tried it!! I’d like to though, it looks delicious!

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