And the mystery vegetable is….

March 13, 2010

I know at least one of you really did want the answer to the “name that vegetable” quiz… and even though no one had the correct answer, all of you are really winners! (And if we had little plastic trophies with strange Asian veggies on top, we’d gladly send one to each of you, but we don’t, so don’t be waiting for the mailperson…)

Okay, now that we’ve gone through all the “making you feel good about yourselves” business, the answer is:

Gai Choy!

Also known as Chinese Mustard Greens or Mustard Cabbage…

I ran across this in the Asian market one day, and as I often do there, I picked up something that I had no idea what it was, and later figured out what to do with it…

When doing some research on this veggie, I came across the “Three Tastes – Tao in the Kitchen” site/blog. There was a good description of the item and a great sounding recipe, so I’ll refer you there for more details, and here is the basic recipe:


I large bunch mustard cabbage, or gai choy, cleaned, stemmed and diced/julienned

2-3 TBL. olive oil

4-6 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, or water

1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (optional)

Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir to release fragrance and gently brown, then remove garlic and keep aside. Add cleaned mustard greens stem pieces to oil, add broth, cover and let cook 10-20 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Stir to mix well, then add leafy parts of cabbage, cover and cook another 5-8 minutes, or until leafy parts are bright green. Remove cover and allow broth to reduce by half. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, if using. Remove to serving plate and garnish with browned garlic.

This is a somewhat bitter veggie, and I think would work well in some traditional southern (southern US, that is) recipes for turnip or collard greens. I see some research coming…

The tops/greens of course take a bit less time to cook and should be separated from the denser bottoms before cooking. Pics below show the whole Gai Choy and the separated large outer leaves and the smaller inner sections.

So there you have it – take a look if you have a local Asian grocery, give it a try, and let us know if you do!

One Response to “And the mystery vegetable is….”

  1. sambycat Says:

    it’s a choy!!!! i was close! by the way, happy chinese new year (gung hay fat choy!)


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