Also known as spinach mustard or rosette bok choy, this leafy green is crisp and snappy with a delicate grassy taste and a kick of peppery flavor.
Tatsoi vs. Bok Choy
Tatsoi is often confused for its more popular relative, bok choy, as they are quite similar in appearance. However, there are three key differences that can help you distinguish between the two on your next grocery run.
1) Tatsoi has a much thinner stalk than bok choy. Tatsoi stalks typically have a width of 2 to 3 cm while bok choy stalks can be double or triple that measurement.
2) There are also notable differences in the appearance of their leaves. Bok choy has smooth, inverted teardrop-shaped leaves while tatsoi has grooved round leaves that curl towards the center, giving the vegetable a spoon-like shape.
3) In terms of flavor, tatsoi has a more concentrated taste and fragrance than bok choy, likely as a result of its compact size, making it the ideal choice for those who enjoy the peppery undertone the two leafy greens share.
The leaves of tatsoi are tender and pleasantly vegetal with a tinge of sharpness, reminiscent of mustard leaves. The stalks, meanwhile, are crisp and watery with a fresh, grassy flavor.
When cooked, especially in stir-fry, tatsoi reveals a delicate natural sweetness and a pronounced nutty fragrance.
Try using tatsoi in place of bok choy in your next stir-fry. When cooked in high heat, tatsoi develops a sweet, nutty aroma and sheds some of its mustard-like sharpness. For a quick side dish, blanch tatsoi in salted water, then top with fried garlic and a drizzle of oyster sauce.
Tatsoi is also a standout ingredient in soups and stews when added at the last minute. It provides the perfect vegetal crunch and a mild pepperiness that complements bright, pungent, and meaty flavors. In salads, you can use raw tatsoi in place of mustard leaves, or alongside them to layer their similar piquant undertones.
When choosing what to pair with tatsoi, consider classic Asian ingredients such as sesame oil, soy sauce, chili paste, and garlic. Try tatsoi in place of bok choy in our Hoisin Salmon recipe or Shrimp Satay or in our Beef and Bok Choy.
Feature Image: By Idéalités – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0)