Add tender Asian greens to your trolley in February.
There are a number of different types of Asian greens, the most common being bok choy or wombok (two types of Chinese cabbage), choy sum (Chinese silverbeet) and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). Gai choy is another type of Chinese cabbage, and it has a distinctive peppery taste.
Choose greens with fresh-looking, brightly-coloured leaves and firm stems. Avoid ones with discoloured, wilted leaves or soft, spongy stems. Look for gai lan with budded flowers and fresh-looking leaves.
All Asian greens can be kept in the crisper section of your refrigerator. Gai choy and choy sum will keep for 2–3 days, while bok choy and gai lan will last a little longer (3–4 days).
Asian greens require little preparation. Gently wash, then steam or stir-fry until just wilted, or blanch for a couple of minutes. Slightly larger or coarse stems may need to be trimmed before cooking. When preparing choy sum, discard any large flowers before cooking.
4 quick ways with Asian greens
For a simple, fresh side dish, steam any type of Asian greens until bright green. Top with a finely diced fresh chilli, peeled and thinly sliced ginger and a drizzle of oyster sauce.
Prepare udon noodles according to packet instructions and steam a bunch of shredded bok choy until just tender. Squeeze out excess liquid. Combine bok choy and noodles with a 95g tin flaked salmon, cashews and bean sprouts. Drizzle with reduced-salt soy sauce and sesame oil.
Serve up this delicious slaw with poached fish or grilled chicken. Combine 4 cups finely sliced bok choy with 2 cups thinly sliced pineapple pieces, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 cup fresh coriander leaves. Set aside for 15 minutes before serving.
This yummy omelette is fantastic when you want to make a quick and healthy dinner. Combine 1/4 cup hoisin sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Spray a wok with oil and stir-fry 500g sliced mushrooms, 1 large bunch gai lan (trimmed and cut into 6cm lengths), 1 small diced onion and 1 clove minced garlic until gai lan has wilted and mushrooms soften. Remove from heat, combine with hoisin mixture and set aside.In a small bowl, whisk together 4 eggs and 1/3 cup skim milk. Pour a quarter of the mixture into a wok. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until just set. Place a quarter of gai lan mixture over half the omelette and fold over remaining half. Repeat with remaining egg and vegie mixture to make 4 omelettes.
Did you know? Asian greens are a good source of dietary fibre, and also contain iron, calcium and folate.