Tatsoi, or Brassica narinosa, is a cool-season flat-forming Chinese cabbage and member of the Brassica family. It is commonly known as spoon mustard, spinach mustard and rosette bok choy. In Chinese, its name is wu ta cai and in Japan it is known as tasai. It is treated as a cut-and-come again leafy vegetable, allowing for multiple harvests on a single plant. The plant's maturity is signaled by flowering shoots arising from the foliage. Eventually the plant will sprout seeds, marking its life cycle's migration. The seeds can be saved and used for future crops.
Tatsoi is native to China, yet its culinary roots are in Japan. Its period of cultivation so deep there, it is considered an ancient green.
Tatsoi is a very versatile green in the kitchen. It can be used with any other green that you might like to make a salad, such as spinach, arugula, watercress, pea tendrils, mizuna or even also be substituted for any recipe calling for spinach. Its tangy and peppery notes pair well with citrus, crisp cool ingredients such as apple, fennel and mint, warm flavors that are abundantly found in chiles, garlic and allspice. Pair tatsoi with ingredients rich in umami such as scallops, mushrooms, seaweed and braised meats. Fermented ingredients such as fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegars are also complimentary matches.
Separate leaves and wash well before serving.
Wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
Tatsoi is nutrient rich containing Vitamins A, C, beta-carotene, calcium, folate, fiber and phytonutrients.
Tatsoi & Chickpea Tostadas
*makes about 4 tostadas
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, separated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon agave or honey
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch tatsoi, chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced pinch of salt
- corn tortillas
- Warm the oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly spray the corn tortillas with oil on both sides and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 12-‐15 minutes, turning half way. You want the tortillas crispy but not burned.
- Set aside.
- While the tortillas cook, warm the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over a medium heat.
- Add the chickpeas and cook until they begin to get a little color on the outside, about 5 minutes.
- In a small glass mix together 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the soy sauce, and the agave.
- When the chickpeas are beginning to color, add the lemon juice mixture and toss until all the chickpeas are well coated.
- Add the remaining spices and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Turn off the heat.
- In a large skillet or wok warm the teaspoon of olive oil over a medium heat.
- Toss in the tatsoi and sauté until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, garlic, and salt and sauté for another minute.
- Turn off the heat.
Assemble the Tostada
- Gently place some of the sautéed tatsoi on top of the cooked tortilla.
- Place several spoonfuls of the seasoned chickpeas on top, pressing them slightly into the greens.
- Top with sour cream and serve immediately.
- 1 bag of baby Tatsoi
- 1/2 cup tempeh, cut inot 1/4″ cubes
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
- 1-2 Tbs sweetener of choice
- salt to taste
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 dashes Tabasco sauce or pinch of chili flakes
- 1 T Sesame Oil
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 Tbs. ginger; minced
- 1/2 apple, grated
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds; toasted or raw
- In small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sweetener, vinegar and tabasco or chili flakes.
- Mix well and season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Add baby tatsoi leaves and grated apple and toss
- In a heavy skillet, heat the coconut oil.
- Add tempeh and lightly saute until golden
- Add the hot tempeh to the salad and toss.
- Garnish with toasted or raw sesame seeds.
Grilled Halibut with Tatsoi and Spicy Thai Chilies
Makes 4 servings
The ginger sauce is a good staple to keep on hand in the fridge — it's excellent with any fish, whether grilled, pan-seared, or steamed. Serve rice on the side, if you like.
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons fish sauce*
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Thai bird chiles with seeds or 1/2 large jalapeño chile with seeds, minced
- 1 small carrot, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
- 4 6- to 7-ounce halibut fillets
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 3/4 pound tatsoi or baby spinach (about 12 cups packed)
Mix first 7 ingredients in medium glass bowl. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Sauce can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place carrot in medium bowl. Cover with ice water. Let stand 15 minutes, then drain well. Brush fish on all sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; stir 1 minute. Add tatsoi; sprinkle with salt. Toss until tatsoi is wilted but still bright green, about 2 minutes; divide among 4 plates.
Place fish atop tatsoi. Sprinkle each fillet with carrot; drizzle each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.