Other "choys" besides bok choy?
I have recently bought a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm that specializes in Asian vegetables. I'm really looking forward to trying some new veggies. One thing that confused me is that the owner's blurb says they grow "all the choys" - to be honest I am only familiar with bok choy. I did a bit of Googling and found another variety (yu choy) that I didn't know of before. The phrase "all the choys" seems to refer to more than two though. What other choys do you all know of besides these two, and what do you like to do with choy once you have it in your kitchen?
I think 'choy' is simply 菜 in Cantonese (cai in Mandarin), and means vegetable.
In the CSA blurb it probably refers to what I generically refer to as "green leafy things" as I don't know all the Chinese names.
I can't give you the 'choy' names, because I either know the English or the Taiwanese Mandarin names rather than the Cantonese
I love the water spinach (called 空心菜 or hollow heart vegetable in Taiwan). Stir fry with sliced garlic, and finish with a drizzle of sesame oil and a pinch of salt.
Chayote squash leaves are another favourite of mine (aka dragon whisker vegetable). They're wonderfully green and have a good bit to them, and are good steamed, or blanched for a minute or two and used as a salad.
The Chinese chives are tasty - thicker and not as strong as Western chives. I like to dice them and saute with corn and garlic until the corn starts to brown, and then season with cumin and lemon juice.
I don't know where you are located or how savvy your CSA is. Choy is a rather generic word for vegetable, mostly the leafy greens.
Gai Choy > mustard greens
A Choy > lettuce (for stir-frying)
Sang Choy > lettuce
Bo Choy > spinach
Gau Choy > Chinese chives
Hin Choy > Amaranth, aka Chinese spinach
Ong choy > water spinach
There are so many variations of bok choy and choy sum it can make your head spin trying to keep them straight.
As for preparation, I mostly prefer mine to be simply stir-fried with garlic.