At this week’s farmer’s market, I couldn’t resist these beautiful yu choy sum. Also known as:
- choi sum
- pak choy
- yau choy
- yu choi sum
- yow choy sum
I’m sure I missed a few of the other names that they go by as well. Since there’s a lot of different varieties of Asian greens and they all kinda look similar, it can get confusing. I get confused if it’s called by one of its many other names, but I can recognize it by sight.
Yu choy sum looks like gai lan (chinese broccoli) but skinnier. Of course, if you don’t know what gai lan looks like, then that doesn’t really help you. In which case, never mind, just look at the picture below.
Another member of the bok choy family, but so much more tender and sweeter than the larger bok choy, yu choy sum taste like a cross between broccoli and spinach. They can be used in stir-fries and soups. As usual, I prefer just a quick and simple stir-fry as part of a meal.
Stir-fried Yu Choy Sum
Serves 2 as part of a meal
1 bunch yu choy sum
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Wash the yu choy sum in several changes of water, trimming off any old leaves, tough stems and the bottom 1/2″ from each stalk. Cut the stems into 3″ pieces, halving the bigger stalks lengthwise.
Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the yu choy sum and stir. After about 30 seconds, it’ll start to wilt down. Stir bringing up the greens at the bottom to the top. Add salt to taste. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes or until the stems are tender. Serve immediately.