Friday, August 13, 2010

Kai Choy (Mustard Greens)

This is the most bitter vegetable that I have ever tasted!  It even overtakes the bitter gourd!  I bought the seeds by mistake, thinking that it was parsley.  Only upon planting the seeds, then did I realize that I have bought the wrong seeds. Well, I planted it anyway.  I have not seen this variety of mustard greens before, the ones that I usually buy from the market have really huge stamps and thick big leaves, which have a slight bitter and pungent taste, but not as bitter as this! 

Harvested this and a few more, as the stems are getting old and tough.

The flowers are pretty, though, similar to "choy sum"

Why do most vegetables have yellow flower??

Ready for my wok!

The packet of seeds

I stir-fry the kai choy with garlic and I'm the only one who ate this!  My kids and hubby took a bite and did not touch this dish again!  It was SO BITTER, I didn't even finish it.  When I search the web about this veggie, it was mentioned that to get rid of the bitter taste, boil it in salted water for a few minutes.  But I think that it won't make much difference!

Happy Gardening!


  1. More bitter than bitter gourd? Wow, that must be awful to taste. I have yet to see this plant before.

  2. Would like to know whether boiling it with salted water will take away some of that bitterness. Kai Lan flower are a bit different. In the picture I could see your vegetables has seed pods on it. The veggie has over matured that cause the bitterness?

  3. Kai choy and Kai Lan. They share 50% of the name but the taste is so very different. Some chef use them to make a vegetarian dish with mushrooms, water cress, etc. Kai Choy has a bitterness that is not easy to like. However, during the festive season, when there is a lot of leftover meaty dishes, we mix them altogether, add asam, ginger and kai choy and it becomes my fave dish. I will wallop all the kai choy first. The kai choy is blanched before being used in the cooking.

  4. I just commented on your food blog. Great garden! I'll be planting some Asian Greens, I bought a packet of mixed Asian Greens to plant for the Fall. Right now I have Pak Choi in container. I have a small garden too so I have to make the most out of small spaces. Looking forward to reading your posts!

  5. Hi JC
    Yes, this is definitely bitter than bitter gourd. This variety is the first one for me too!

    Hi Malay-Kadazan girl,
    Maybe the veggie has matured, but I think that by nature, this is a bitter veggie, and it is different from Kai Lan. Sometimes when we buy Kai Lan, we would choose the ones with the flowers.

    Hi Autumn Belle,
    Yes, kai lan and kai choy tastes very much different. We would usually cook kai choy in "shin lat choy", everyone's favourite, even the soup would be cleaned out! But I have not seen this variety in the market before, and it is EXTREMELY BITTER! I think that blanching it in hot water will not reduce the bitterness! I have a few plants left and I'm not going to eat it, anyway it will be interesting to just let it grow and see what becomes of the flower and after that!

  6. Hi Priscilla,
    Welcome to my potted garden! Yes, I have seen that you have hopped to my kitchen blog too. Thank you for stopping by. I have been over to yours and I think that you have a really fantastic garden. I love all your veggies! Great job on your garden. Hope to see you again. Have a nice weekend!

  7. Hi Cath J,
    Nice to see you again. Yes the kai choy grows well, but it is extremely bitter and I won't serve it at my dinner table again. Wondering what to do with all the seeds! Thanks for visiting. Have a great weekend!

  8. In sabah, the very same vegetable is known simply as sayur pahit....

  9. Kai choy is bitter than bitter gourd? I guess no pest have tried munching it!

  10. Hi Bangchik,
    The name definitely fits this veggie!

    Hi Malar,
    Yes, it is extremely bitter! He! He! I guess the pests are pretty smart! Did not see any pests on this plant!

  11. Thanks for leaving a recommendation to try out Ujung Pasir's Nasi Lemak Kukus. Will check it out on my next trip home.

    Glad to learn that you are also from Melaka!!