Choi Sum (Brassica parachinensis) is a member of the Mustard family, and is also referred to as a flowering pak choy or choy sum. Its green leaves are juicy and tender. If allowed to mature and bolt, yellow flowers will shoot and the plant becomes sweeter and more succulent. The whole plant is edible.
Like Pak Choi, Choi Sum is considered to be one of the most popular vegetables among the Chinese, and is probably the most popular vegetable in Hong Kong. It is now also widely used in the western world and available to buy in most large UK supermarkets.
The flowering shoots and younger leaves of Choi Sum are used in salads or stir-fried, lightly boiled or steamed and added to meat. Choi Sum is reputedly very nutritious; it's rich in carotene (pro-vitamin A), calcium and dietary fibre, and also provides potassium and folic acid.
What does Choi Sum taste like? Well the flavour itself can be described as midway between cabbage and spinach. Choi Sum tends to be blander and closer in taste to cabbage in younger leaves, and develops a little 'kick' in its older leaves.
Rokewood Ltd grows and supplies UK Choi Sum all year, please contact us for more information.
Tsoi sum and cai xin (Chinese), cai ngot (Vietnamese), pakauyai or pakaukeo (Thai), saishin (Japanese), Chinese soup green, white flowering cabbage, mosk pak choy (English), Yau Choy, Yu Cai (Yeou Tsai), Chinese flowering cabbage oil greens, Yu Toy, and False Pak Choi.
Whole young leaves and stems, parts of larger leaves, and flowering shoots can be used in making salads. Choi Sum can be lightly boil, steam, stir-fry, combined with other greens and used in soups.