Yu Choy

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An edible green that contains both a stalk and a leaf that are served in a variety of Asian food dishes. When the plant is young, tender and flowering, the stalk and green leaf are harvested to be used in stir-fry dishes, soups and salads, similar Chinese mustard greens. As the plant ages the stalks become fiberous and somewhat bitter or tangy tasting. It is also a green that is harvested for the seeds which are used to produce cooking oil and lamp oil.

Yu choy may be a confusing green since it has so many other names, some of which often refer to other types of greens. This green may be referred to as edible rape, yow choy sum, choy sum, yow choy, Chinese flowering cabbage, or green choy sum. The name choy sum translates into "flowering green" or "cabbage heart" which it is. However, other greens are also referred to as flowering greens and cabbage greens, so it becomes difficult at times to determine which green may be required in a recipe when so many names exist. Bok choy sum, which also may be referred to as choy sum, is not the same as yu choy, although both bok choy sum and yu choy may be referred to as choy sum. Bok choy sum has a broader stalk with an appearance that looks the same as bok choy, except it contains smaller flowering stalks in the center of the green. Despite the confusion, the choy sum family of greens are all members of the cabbage family and all provide greens that can be very tasty in a variety of foods.

To prepare, yu choy can be blanched for several minutes and served with a sauce such as oyster sauce or black vinegar. When added to stir-fries, it goes well with mushrooms, meats, fish or shellfish. To store, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

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