One of the most amazing parts of your friendly local Asian supermarket is the produce section. Without a doubt, the variety of vegetables you’ll encounter is wild and spectacular. But finding your ideal greens can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, we can help! In this blog we’ll give you an indispensable guide to Asian greens.
Go Ahead, The Light Is Green for Asian Greens
Although there are many wonderful types of Asian greens, for the purposes of this list we’ll only be able to spotlight a few of them in this edition of the blog. Some of the varieties we’ll examine include the following:
Latin Name: It’s Latin name is Lactuca sativa.
AKA: It is also known by several other names, such as Taiwan lettuce, AA Chop Xin, stem lettuce, and asparagus lettuce.
Flavor: While the leaves are similar to romaine lettuce, the stalks taste like cucumbers. AA Choy is also mildly bitter.
Texture: AA choy leaves and inner stalks are tender, much like lettuce. You can discard the outer stalk without any worry.
How Is It Best Cooked? You should stir fry the leaves. You should also stir fry or pickle the inner stalks. If you want to cook the stalks, though, you should first peel away the outer skin.
Availability: While AA choy is available year round, it’s best in the late spring or early summer months.
Where Can You Find It? You can typically find AA Choy in Chinese and Taiwanese groceries.
Latin Name: It’s Latin name is Brassica rapa ssp. Chinensis.
AKA: Chinese cabbage, pok choi, you chai (it means “oil vegetable” in Mandarin).
Flavor: The flavor of bok choy is extremely mellow. However, it also features a unique flavor that is mild, yet peppery. In fact, it’s quite similar to cabbage.
Texture: Bok choy leaves are famed for how tender and crisp they can be. The stalks, meanwhile, can be crunchy, firm, and juicy. Bok choy is comes in either baby or mature varieties. While both are tender, baby bok choy is especially tender.
How Is It Best Cooked? Take your pick! Stir-fried, braised, steamed, sauteed, or simmered. Add it to soups or salads, too!
Availability: Though they are available year round, the peak season for bok choy is during the winter.
Where Can You Find It? Find it at most Asian markets, especially chinese groceries. The mature varieties of bok choy are not only larger, but they are easier to find, too. In fact, you can find them at most supermarkets, Asian or not.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to better serve our customers. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.