Bok Choy (Dried)
Bok Choy (Dried) or Chinese Cabbage
Traditional Chinese Name:
菜乾 (cài gān)
This ingredient is sweet to taste and cooling in nature.
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Bok choy is cooler ingredients relative to its cabbage cousins and targets the stomach and large intestines. It’s also a great for clearing excess water and detoxifying the body, including aiding in digestion.
Dried bok choy is more salty (and even sweet) relative to it’s fresh counterpart. It’s actually super tasty and they have the same properties (even when dried!). Drying the bok choy dates back from Chinese history as a way to preserve the vegetable after the harvest season and has a very long shelf life once dried if stored in cool, dry places. It becomes somewhat brittle and hard, but has a very fragrant smell to it and is even more delicious when softened and cooked.
There are actually a lot of uses for dried bok choy. You can use them soups, stews, stir fry, even in dumplings (chopped up)! They are a versatile ingredient and pretty common in Chinese cuisines. They have somewhat of a chewy texture (it’s all that fiber), but soften super nicely in soup and stews.
How do I prepare it?
- Soak in cool water until it’s completely softened and limp (like it flows with the water). Be sure to completely soak and rinse it a few times as the curing process tends to attract a lot of flies and you’ll see them surface out as you wash these vegetables.
Where can I buy it?
- Dried bok choy is most common in Asian supermarkets
What is the cost?
Dried bok choy isn’t very expensive cost around $3-4 CAD per pack of dried bok choy
- Bok choy is a good source of calcium, vitamin C, and is high in antioxidants
- It is a high fibre and low calorie vegetable
- It is sustainable in growth in a variety of weather conditions and therefore can easily be grown almost anywhere in the world
- This is a cooling ingredients, so can help reduce heat in the body
Since it’s cooling (is a yin ingredient), take caution to consume if you’ve got excess yin or yang deficiency
- Be sure to thoroughly soak them and rinse them in running water a few times. These tend to harbor so many little bugs that the children will find!
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