This dwarf Chinese cabbage, Toy Choy Pak Choy, is quick to grow and prepare.
Super quick to harvest and easy to prepare, Toy Choy Pak Choy has tiny bunches of crisp white stalks with tender green leaves are only 4-5″ tall. Perfect for a single serving side dish-quickly sauteed or roasted. Also great for “stir-fry for two”.
Whether you call it pak choi, pac choi, or bok choy, this vegetable is an easy to grow and adaptable member of the cabbage family. First cultivated in China, its popularity has now spread to Europe and the Western world.
In general, the various Toy Choy Pak Choy prefers cooler growing conditions. When smaller the pak choy plants frequently survive temperatures down to 20F here when protected.
Pak choi matures in 30-35 day and is biennial in growth, but will run to seed sooner if stressed. The bolting problem is most apparent in Spring. As with any Chinese Cabbage, it is thought that exposure to temperatures below 50F may bring on flowering in some varieties, while other varieties may flower in response to the lengthening daylight. Heat or water stress may also cause bolting.
Individual leaves of Pak Choi may be harvested as needed, or the whole plant may be harvested. If cut just above the soil line, the plant will usually resprout and grow from the roots. Several harvests can then be had from one planting.
Pak choi may be cooked in many ways: stir-fried, added to soups, grilled, or steamed. It can also be eaten raw. The leaf stalks are juicy and crisp, especially in the white stemmed varieties. The green stalks tend to have more flavor than the white ones, and the leaves of all varieties have more flavor than the stalks.
If you’ve never grown pak choi, you might consider giving it a spot in your own garden. With so many varieties to choose from, there’s bound to be one that suits your tastes. I’ll be back again soon with another installment.