“I find cooking with Asian greens to be a unique way to get some new greenery into my diet, and there are so many great ways to cook them.” - Lennie Larkin, Farmer
Asian greens provide variety and additional health benefits into your dishes. They are worth experimenting with!
Five Fun Facts
- Asian greens have been cultivated by the Chinese for 5,000 years or more.
- Other names or spellings include: bok choy, pak choi, bok choi, or pak choy -- and there are also variations in color and size, as well.
- Nothing needs to go to waste with Asian greens, as both the stems and leaves are edible.
- In the late 1700s, Asian greens were introduced to Europe.
- Because of the shape of the leaves of Asian greens, they are referred to sometimes as a “soup spoon,” and because of the white stems for some, its name in Chinese translates to simply “white vegetable.”
Asian greens are a good way to add vitamin C (35% of the recommended daily value), vitamin A (17%), and vitamin K (27%) into your menu. With just 9 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of fiber, it is a great choice of food.
The vitamins and minerals found in Asian greens are good for your heart due to their potassium, magnesium, and calcium content which ensure healthy blood pressure; bone health due to calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin K, as well as zinc and iron which are important in collagen production; prevention of cancer due to antioxidants, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates; and when cooked, aids in thyroid function, as the selenium found in Asian greens helps guard against various thyroid conditions.
Limit raw consumption, especially if you have thyroid issues. Asian greens contain an enzyme called myrosinase that can prevent your body from properly taking in iodine, which is a necessary mineral in order for the thyroid to function. When cooked, this danger is eliminated.
Also, wash thoroughly before use or cutting.
Tyler Florence’s Steamed Asian Greens with Honey Soy Sesame Dressing - vegetarian, low fat, low calorie, high fiber, heart-healthy.
Ming Tsai’s Gingered Braised Greens - gluten-free, high fiber.
Sheet Pan Salmon & Bok Choy - low carb/sugar, gluten-free, keto, paleo, Whole30, AIP.
Warm Bok Choy, Beet, and Feta Salad - vegetarian.
Baby Bok Choy Chips - vegan, low calorie, low fat, low carb, heart-healthy.
For the Kids and Kids-at-Heart
Download this activity sheet to play Greens Bingo!
Credits and thanks in addition to recipes and information linked above: GrabNGosoil.com; Healthline.com; thewoksoflife.com; Webmd.com.
Inclusion of a link does not imply WHF endorsement of all content at that link.