Food

Pak Choi – Intolerance & Allergy

Pak Choi

Pak choi is a relative of Chinese cabbage . It forms loose heads with medium-sized, dark green leaves and is native to Asia, but also thrives in Europe.

Here’s what you should know about bok choy

As the name suggests, Pak Choi is native to Asia. The cabbage, which is related to Chinese cabbage, thrives particularly well in the warm, humid regions of Asia, but can also be grown well in temperate regions of Europe. Then it usually grows in greenhouses.

Also referred to as pak soi , bok choy , or pok choi , pak choi comes in baby pak choi with small cabbage heads, and Shanghai pak choi, whose panicles are green instead of white. Pak Choi grows to harvest-ready size within 6 to 8 weeks and is therefore considered a fast-growing cabbage. While it is still largely grown all year round in Asia, since 2004 there have also been economically relevant growing areas in the Netherlands, which also produce Pak Choi all year round.

The rather loose head of cabbage forms dark green leaves that look like chard .

They turn white towards the root. Depending on the size, Pak Choi is prepared whole or chopped as a vegetable. It can be used similarly to spinach , savoy cabbage , or other cabbage and leafy greens. It is particularly popular in Asian dishes, but is also used in pasta. In addition to vitamins and minerals, pak choi also contains secondary plant substances and is therefore prepared as gently as possible to preserve these ingredients.

importance to health

Pak Choi enjoys great popularity as a green vegetable due to its valuable ingredients. In larger amounts, it contains potassium , calcium , vitamin C , and several B vitamins. Furthermore, carotene appears in relevant amounts in Pak Choi.

The phytochemicals that pak choi is rich in include flavonoids , mustard oils (glucosinulates) and phenolic acid. The secondary plant substances have an antioxidant effect and prevent the development of various diseases. Furthermore, they are said to have an antibacterial, germ-killing effect, which is currently still being researched. As with almost all plant-based foods, most of the ingredients in pak choi remain in the leaves if they are prepared as gently as possible. Briefly sautéing, steaming and cooking are therefore the most common forms of preparation.

Ingredients & nutritional values

As a plant, pak choi contains very little fat, but fiber , carbohydrates and some protein . However, the protein content is so low that it cannot replace the missing meat in a vegetarian diet. Pak Choi is also very low in calories.

Potassium , calcium , sodium and folic acid are found in greatest abundance on the mineral side. The vitamin C content is almost sufficient to cover the daily requirement. Furthermore, many B vitamins, vitamin A (carotene) and vitamin K can also be found in Pak Choi. Also worth mentioning are the secondary plant substances that serve the Pak Choi as a natural defense against predators, but are associated with various protective properties against diseases for humans.

Intolerances & allergies

Although pak choi has not been eaten in this country for very long, it has already established itself as a food for allergy sufferers. It is considered to be relatively well tolerated and only very rarely triggers a reaction. If an allergic reaction to pak choi occurs, it is often in connection with a known allergy to various types of cabbage.

Pak choi is often used in baby food as a substitute for spinach – babies may still be sensitive to it. This is usually not due to an allergy, but because the young, immature metabolism is new and unfamiliar with the vegetables. Pak Choi can be offered to the baby again after some time and will probably be better tolerated as the young metabolism first had to get used to it.

Shopping & kitchen tips

Since pak choi is either imported from Asia or cultivated in greenhouses in this country, it hardly has a clearly defined season. Pak Choi can be grown in Asia almost all year round, and it can also be cultivated in a greenhouse all year round.

When buying, you should look for uninjured, dark green leaves, the color of which is similar to that of rocket or spinach. Hanging, discolored or very thin and limp cabbage leaves, on the other hand, are more a signal that the pak choi is no longer fresh. This would only be unproblematic with sautéed dishes, since it would wilt anyway. In terms of taste, however, Pak Choi is most pleasant fresh. It can usually be stored for a few days after purchase, but should be used up rather quickly. It can be stored for up to two weeks wrapped in a damp cloth at cool temperatures.

He is used to this humidity from his Asian homeland and stays fresh a little longer. Room temperature doesn’t bother the Pak Choi much either, but it doesn’t keep that long. Since pak choi may have come into contact with insect repellent during cultivation, it should always be washed thoroughly before use. There is nothing wrong with blanching – this way of preparing the cabbage is particularly recommended for salads.

Preparation tips

Pak Choi is eaten raw or blanched as a salad vegetable. It can either be left whole or roughly chopped. He doesn’t mind chopping, so the salad can also be prepared well in advance. In its Asian homeland, Pak Choi is often used for wok dishes. It is roughly chopped for this purpose, and the whole cabbage can be used – including its white parts. It is sautéed in the wok for just a few minutes.

This type of preparation has also proven itself in other dishes that are prepared with Pak Choi. In Western cooking, cabbage is used for a change in place of other types of cabbage, spinach, arugula, or similar leafy greens. It is also well suited for the preparation of pasta sauces, which are often newly created. In any case, it is prepared as gently as possible, i.e. either eaten raw, sautéed very briefly or gently cooked. The heat will wilt pak choi after just a few minutes, softening the white part of the cabbage and making the leaves even more flavorful.

When creating your own, you should take into account the intense taste of the Pak Choi, which does not weaken through careful preparation. In order to preserve the valuable ingredients as much as possible, Pak Choi should never be heated too high.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.