Choy sum, also known as Chinese flowering cabbage or Chinese mustard greens, is a leafy green vegetable that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It belongs to the Brassica family, which includes other vegetables like broccoli and kale. Choy sum has tender, glossy green leaves and thin stems that are crisp and slightly sweet in flavor.
Here are a few key points about choy sum:
- Appearance: Choy sum has long, slender stems with dark green leaves. The stems are smooth and have a pale yellow color near the base. The leaves are oval-shaped and can range from light to dark green.
- Taste and texture: Choy sum has a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a hint of bitterness. The stems are crunchy and have a delicate texture, while the leaves are tender and soft.
- Culinary uses: Choy sum is a versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes. It is commonly stir-fried, blanched, or steamed. It pairs well with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Choy sum is often added to soups, noodle dishes, and stir-fries.
- Nutritional benefits: Choy sum is a nutritious vegetable that is low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate. It also contains dietary fiber and antioxidants.
- Selection and storage: When choosing choy sum, look for fresh, vibrant leaves and firm stems. Avoid wilted or yellowing leaves. To store choy sum, wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Choy sum is a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines and is valued for its delicate flavor and nutritional benefits. It is widely available in Asian grocery stores and is becoming more common in Western markets as well.