Your Go-To Guide on Asian Greens
This spring, turn over a new leaf—or five. Here's the scoop on some of our favorite Eastern greens and how to use them.
1. Chinese Broccoli
Unlike its fluffy-headed cousin, this variety has tiny florets, long stalks, and spinach-like leaves. It tastes a bit like broccoli rabe and is prized for its thick, crisp stems, which, when cooked, play well with earthy flavors, like oyster sauce and meaty mushrooms.
Have you met the crazy aunt of the Asian greens family? She's a little spicy (as you'd expect from a Japanese mustard green) and kooky, with her frizzy fronds, but always welcome at dinner—especially in a salad where you want an arugula-like pepperiness.
3. Snow Pea Tips
You've had the pods of this plant, but don't stop there. The leaves and the tender part of the stems are so flavorful that you can sauté them up solo, no garlic or onions needed. Before cooking, trim off the tough tendrils and the woody lower stems. Serve as you would spinach for an easy side, or add them to a frittata.
4. Bok Choy
You may have used this mild bulbous green in stir-fries, but it's also great raw in salads, sliced into sticks for crudités, or simmered in soup. Cut a few heads of bok choy into quarters, toss in oil, and cook on the grill or in a grill pan for a quick side for steak.
5. Napa Cabbage
This veg is the cruciferous star of many kimchis. The ribbed stalks and wrinkly leaves are thinner and more tender than regular cabbage. Use the leaves in stir-fries, or shred them for slaw or a tasty fish taco topper.