Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A summer salad out of Chinese vegetables - it's all Choy Joy

Vegetables, 菜 (pronounced as Cai in Mandarin, or Choy in Cantonese) is the theme of Heart of Matter this round.

This brings me to the different varieties of Bok Choy seen in my nearby Asian supermarket in California. If you have seen names such as Bok Choy, Baby Bok Choy, Bok Choy Sum, Zen Choy, Tagu Choy, etc., wouldn't you be as confused as me? I got myself these three different varieties, and place them side by side for the benefit of you. Look (stare) - what differences or similarities do you see? Well, one has a greener leaf than the other; the other has a shorter stem than the next other - physically. I was so not familiar with Tagu Choy when I saw the name but... don't you find Tagu Choy a cross between the Bok Choy and Bok Choy Sum (Choy Sum literally means "vegetable heart"). See....the leaf of the Tagu Choy is the leaf-look-alike of the Bok Choy Sum (observe); and the stem of the Tagu Choy is the stem-look-alike of the Bok Choy (go observe again). Do you see what I see ?

That's my 2-min "tear-down" analysis for you (well, at least it took me two mins to type these out, and I "tore down" the individual leaves/stems for ease of comparison). Personally, I prefer the Baby Bok Choy Sum (Bok Choy Sum seen here), how about you ? I find them "sweeter" than Bok Choy and the green leaves are more "attractive" to me. Nutrition wise, I believe they should be quite similar to one another.
Other than the usual stir-fries that are seen here, here and here, I've done a Chinese vegetable salad this time (yes, I've heard some of you - summer-officially tomorrow, means less "over the stove top" cooking!) - Bok Choy Sum and Tomatoes Salad in Scallion/Ginger Dressing.

Ingredients you need and what to do with them:
1. Baby Bok Choy Sum - quick-blanched in water, then drained away excess water; when most water is drained, chopped the bok choy sum into smaller than bite-sizes
2.Tomatoes - cut into smaller cubes
3. Dressing: Spring onion and minced ginger in extra virgin olive oil . Basically, this is just mincing, and blending.
4. Mix items 1. to 3. and happy tossing!

TADA....this easy refreshing salad for you, if you wish to have a change from using romaine or green-leaves lettuce in your salad.

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