Brassica rapa chinensis, otherwise known as Pak Choi, Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage has to be one of the best ‘quick grow greens’ to raise in your veggie patch.
In Australia’s warm climate it tends to grow quite quickly, especially on the east coast where the combination of warm days and nights along with summer rains has the seedlings literally sprouting up overnight to produce crisp and nutritious crops that are a delight steamed or flash cooked in a stir fry.
Its best to keep an on-going supply of seedlings to plant out as these brassicas don’t last long at optimum size/condition in your garden before going to seed, especially when the weather is warm. When you harvest them keep them in the crisper drawer of the fridge but no longer than about three to four days or they’ll go limp.
The stems tend to take a little longer to cook than the green parts of the leaves so boil or steam the stalks first for two to three minutes then toss in the leave for the last two.
Like all brassicas they provide plenty of good dietary fibre to aid digestion and are loaded minerals and vitamins like Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, C, K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
But Pak Choi also contains powerful antioxidants and phyto-nutrients which help destroy free radicals to protect cells and reduce inflammation.
All this and its easy to grow – therefore clearly deserves the title of ‘Power Greens’.