Today we are talking about another member of the cabbage family, Pak Choi, scientific name Brassica Rapa Chinensis. Pak Choi, also called bok choy, is native to China but nowadays it can be found in specialized shops all over the world. Pak choi means, in Cantonese, white vegetable and is characterized by important healthy properties.
Pak choi, properties
This type of cabbage has a high content of glucosinolates, powerful antioxidant and anticancer substances that release all their powerful properties when the vegetable is chewed. In fact, in this way, the glucosinolates come into contact with enzymes and this leads to the formation of other substances including sulforaphane, which acts by counteracting tumors and inflammation. In particular, the intake of pak choi is able to inhibit colitis and colon cancer, according to a study published in 2014 in the journal Food and Function by a group of German scientists (Lippmann et al, 2014).
Moreover, the pak choi is also a source of mineral salts such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, folate, important in pregnancy and to protect the DNA, beta-carotenes with an antioxidant action, fibers, useful to improve intestinal function, and vitamins, including C, A, group B, E and K (USDA Database).
Pak choi, use in the kitchen
How to consume the pak choi? Of the pak choi you can eat everything, leaves and stems. This vegetable gives to the dishes a crunchy and healthy note. You can add it raw and finely sliced to salads, or cooked, for example steamed or in soups.
As for cooking, when the pak choi is still young it is small and can be cooked whole, instead, if the pak choi is bigger then it is better to cut it into slices.