As the old saying goes, if life gives you lemons, you learn to make lemonade. So to my way of thinking, if the garden gives you lots of pak choi, then you learn to find new ways to use it in the kitchen!
Pak choi (or choy) is a member of the cabbage family and has been grown in China for centuries. It’s a fast-growing plant with upright heads of green, red or yellow leaves and thick white or green stems. Pac Choi, Bok Choy, & Pak Choi are all different spellings for the same vegetable. Choy can be treated like two vegetables in one, with the leaves cooked much like spinach and the crisp, juicy stems eaten like celery. With both heat and cold tolerant varieties it can be grown practically year round with protection. Kitazawa Seed Company has a large selection of choys as well as many other Asian vegetables. Johnny’s Selected Seeds also has a nice selection of choy, including a beautiful variety called Red Choi with purplish-red leaves.
Mei Qing pak choi
Red Choi pak choi
At Happy Acres our favorite way to prepare choi is to stir-fry it with a little garlic and mushrooms and a splash of soy sauce. It’s also good added to mixed stir-fries. This soup is a different way to use the prolific vegetable. It’s easy to make, light and delicious. The mild flavored choy blends nicely with the aromatic garlic and ginger.
Green Choi Soup
I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out the first time I made it, but I make asparagus soup in much the same way and love it, so why not do the same with pak choi? It can be made with any choi variety or color. Give it a try – you might like it too!