Guess the exotic ingredient

At the start of our classes we like to do a bit of a quiz with the ingredients we will be using. Particularly the more exotic ones from our Asian classes. 

Any idea what this is?

...

Well done if you recognised it as a cut end of the pak choi vegetable. It really shows the beauty of nature and the patterns it creates if you look closely enough.

It's one of our favourite vegetables in our Vietnamese cooking class.

Ever wondered the difference between pak choi and bok choy and other similar variants? Chances are they are all the same or at least of the same family; pak choi and bok choy certainly are.

They're also known as Chinese cabbage; a refreshing, juicy and crisp vegetable that's been cropping up in our markets and supermarkets more and more. Grown in Asian countries such as Vietnam, China and the Philippines they make a great alternative to your more regular greens. Bringing a touch of Eastern flavour to our London home.

Most recently it was joined by choi sum in the shops, another related Asian vegetable. For a great visual guide of a host of other Asian vegetables check out this link from The Kitchn.

On our Vietnamese classes we combine the two with tender stem broccoli to create a lovely ensemble of Asian greens which makes a delicious side dish.

Simply prepare them by washing and cutting as desired and stir fry in a combination of light soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, vegetable oil and hoisin sauce or oyster sauce.

For an extra flourish, garnish with toasted sesame seeds. 

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