Ingredient of the week: Tatsoi

tatsoi This fun-to-say leafy green is a long-time Asian staple. Its aliases include broadbeak mustard, spoon mustard, spinach mustard, and rosette bok choy. It's friendly with a number of cuisines and preparations and will quickly become one of the most versatile green vegetables you know.

Where it comes from/how it grows

Tatsoi is native to China, yet its culinary roots are in Japan. Its period of cultivation is so deep there; it is considered an ancient green. As with all Chinese brassicas, tatsoi is a vigorous grower. It germinates quickly and seedlings develop so rapidly you can almost see them grow!

Appearance and Taste

Tatsoi leaves are dark green and have a spoon-like shape with a pleasant, sweet aroma flavour. Actually, it is very similar to bok choi with a mild mustard flavor. The leaves are glossy with a buttery, tender and succulent texture. Fresh tatsoi is sweet and tangy with a mineral finish. Once cooked, it develops a warm earthiness similar to spinach. And not only does it taste great, also it is supercharged with calcium, carotenoids, vitamin C and glucosinolates - making it one of the healthiest greens out there!

How to Store and Prep

You know the drill: wrap the leaves in a damp paper or dish towel, and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Prepare fresh tatsoi by separating the leaves and washing well. It has a short storage life, so eat it up first!

How to Use Tatsoi

We are serious about tatsoi being versatile; it can be used with any other green that you might like to make a salad, such as spinach, arugula, mizuna and can substitute spinach in any recipe. It’s great served raw or lightly cooked, but to keep it easy, just use tatsoi anywhere you’d use spinach. Lightly steam or sauté it, wilt the leaves with a warm dressing, or add them to a soup at the end of cooking. Its flavor pairs well with citrus, crisp cool ingredients such as apple, fennel and mint, as well as warm flavors such as chiles and garlic. It is sooo good with scallops, mushrooms and braised meats. Also, if you like fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegars or other fermented ingredients tatsoi complements them well.

Enough talk… onto the recipes!

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Buen provecho!