Asia has had innumerable vegetables and further a mammoth load of delicacies which are prepared using them.
Asian Greens come in a huge variety and can be consumed as a side dish or stir-fried. These varieties seem to increase almost every day. All Asian Greens are generally crisp when fresh and should be cleaned well before being cooked or consumed.
Types of Asian Greens
There are various varieties of Asian Greens known globally, by different names. Thus, we will be enlisting the Asian Greens with all their names that could be gathered:
1) Napa Cabbage Also Called Chinese Cabbage
Napa Cabbage is one of the easiest available Asian green with a white stem and pale green leaves surrounding the stem in a cruciferous arrangement. It has a soft texture and a mild taste.
2) Gai Lan Also Called Chinese Broccoli or Kai Lan
It is a beautiful dark green vegetable with glossy stalks, big leaves and pretty yellow flowers in its center. The stalks of both the broccoli and gai-lan taste the same, though, the leaves of gai-lan are usually more bitter.
3) Pea Shoots
These are delicately flavored hollow stems with tender leaves and thin tendrils on them.
4) Bok Choy or Pok Choy or Bok Choi
An exotic vegetable with white stems and dark green leaves while an immature version called the baby bok choy is light green in color and smaller in size. Its flavor is somewhat similar to chard.
5) Yau Choy or You Choy Sum or Chinese Oil Vegetable
Yau Choy has pale green and thin stems with dark green leaves and edible flowers. It can be consumed raw or steamed.
6) Gai Choy or Chinese Mustard Greens
Unlike other vegetables mentioned above, this one is pretty big. It is usually of a yellowish green color and a mustardy yet spicy taste. It can be bitter and thus, should be blanched to remove any bitterness.
7) Water Spinach or Chinese Water Spinach or Ong Choy
It has a mild and sweet flavor, unlike the regular spinach. It is tall with a hollow stem and green leaves which stay crisp even after being cooked.
8) Chinese Celery
It is not the usual celery that we consume, it has thinner and fibrous stalks, and the leaves are also there. Its flavor is much more intense.
The most famous lettuce is the leafy one where the stem is consumed for its crisp taste and flavor.
10) Wosun Greens
The leaves of the lettuce are being consumed these days and are addressed to as Wosun Greens.
11) Shanghai Bok Choy
This bok choy has pale yellow stems, and light green leaves with a delicately sweet flavor to it.
12) Amaranth Greens or Chinese Spinach
These are rich in protein and come in two variant either red or green. They have hollow and tender stems with a slightly astringent flavor to them.
13) Shepherd’s Purse
It is a leafy green vegetable consumed in China especially around Shanghai. It has a unique flavor to it. Its strong aroma is another feature indicating its wild nature.
14) WaterCress or Yang Cai
It is an aquatic vegetable which thrives in harsh climatic conditions. It tastes peppery if consumed raw while after being cooked it has a rather mild taste to it.
15) CAO TOU or Edible Clover
Not all clover is edible, and some can be toxic too. Thus, be very careful while you pick Cao Tau for consumption. It has a unique grassy, yet sweet taste and its part of stem and leaves are edible.
16) Tong Ho or Chrysanthemum
It is available in two types which are small or medium leafed tang and Large or broad-leafed tang.
- Small Leafed Tang: It has a unique and aromatic flavor to it.
- Large Leafed Tang: The aroma and flavor are much stronger. Leaves are not tender, and steam is also thick.
17) Malan Tou or Kalimeris Indica
The young leaves and stems are collected during early spring. It has a special and rare flavor which makes it popular.
18) Yam Leaves
These heart-shaped leaves have a mild flavor to them. They are highly nutritious so much so that their nutrition content is said to be more than that of celery, spinach, and cucumber.
19) Aa Choy or AA Choi or Wo Chun
The leafy part of celtuce. It is refreshing and tastes like roman lettuce.
20) Mizuna or Shui Cai or Laciniata
This vegetable has dark green feathery leaves with pepper like taste.
21) TatSoi or Brassica Rapa or Chinese Fat Cabbage
This vegetable is unique in its appearance. It has a thick, round and deep green leaves are arranged in concentric circles like forming a rose. It has a mildly bitter flavor but is still enjoyed raw.
22) You Mai
It has tender leaves and not the crispy ones but, it tastes very similar to Chinese lettuce.
23) Peking Cabbage or Wong Nga Pak
A cabbage with crispy stalk, pale green leaves which are crispy too. It’s unlike any other lettuce as it does not have heavy, compact head.
24) Fuzzy Melon or Hairy Melon
This gourd is in the shape of marrow or could also be compared to an overgrown eggplant. It tastes more so like a fresh cucumber
25) Chinese Box Thorn
A straight stem with no branches covered in leaves or thorns. Only the leaves are used for consumption and are known to have a uniquely delectable flavor to them.
26) Ehn Choy or Ing Choy
It is a leafy green vegetable. Ehn Choy is sold with its roots still attached to it.
Health Benefits of Asian Greens
These Vegetables are extremely beneficial and help build a healthy body and a healthier immune system. Asian Greens usually have a low level of oxalic acid which helps in easy absorption of these food items.
Asian Greens are a rich source of all forms of Vitamins, calcium, iron, beta-carotene, and fiber. All these together are the pillars that support our healthy living. They prevent us from several illnesses and also guard us against various chronic diseases.
The type mentioned above of Asian Greens is not just as dull as the green veggies we are forced to eat all through our childhood. These are full of health and are still as delicious as can be. The list is ever increasing, and each variety is always better than the other.