Purple Bok Choy, or also known as Purple Pak Choi is an Asian vegetable, and its a quick and easy growing plant. The vegetable has a sweet but also a delicate flavor to it, and the bite comes with a loud crunch. The average lifespan of a seed is around three years. The difference between a regular bok choy and a purple one is in the leaves, as the regular bok choy has green leaves and the purple bok choy has purple. The stalks are greenish-white in both cases.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Brassicales
- Family: Brassicaceae
- Genus: Brassica
- Species: Rapa
- Binomial name: Brassica rapa, chinensis group
Purple Bok Choy Trivia
- Bok Choy looks like celery but its a member of the cabbage family.
- The vegetable is sometimes referred to as a “soup spoon” because of its shape.
- The plant has been cultivated for 5,000 years in Asia.
Purple Bok Choy Buying Guide
Look for the stalks that are white and not rusty. Look for the leaves that are dark purple. You should also avoid wilted, discolorated, spotted, broken, and limp stalks.
Purple Bok Choy Production & Farming in Texas
One of the people producing Bok Choy for Texas markets is Tommy Hanka. But he isn’t even the first in his family to begin doing so. His father, James, started growing Bok Choy in the 1970s. James Hanka noticed that the Asian population in Houston was rising so he supplied a niche market and they were his main target. After Tommy took over his father’s legacy, the vegetable became crucial in the American diet. Because of that, the demand keeps growing.
The vegetables that come from the Brassicaceae family are usually naturally resistant to pests which means they aren’t sprayed with pesticides that much.
Bok Choy is being grown in China for more than five thousand years. The seeds have originated from China’s Yellow River Valley. Bok Choy endures as Asia’s one of the most important vegetables to this day. The vegetable has been expanded to Korea in the 14th century, and to Southeast Asia in the 16th century.
Purple Bok Choy thrives in cold temperatures. The plant tolerates mild frost, which is a big plus. Plant them after the danger of the heavy frost. A moderate amount of organic matter in the soil is what Asian plants usually prefer. If you prefer a mildly sweet taste, you should keep the soil evenly moist. Hot weather causes the vegetable to have a bitter flavor and your last harvest should be during the fall.
Just like the regular Bok Choy, the purple ones should also be packaged both on the field after harvest and in the store. The plant is left on the ground for about 30 minutes after harvesting so that it dries and becomes easier to handle. Afterward, it is packed in boxes and sent to stores like that.
Enjoying Purple Bok Choy
The plant of purple Bok Choy has a tangy-sweet taste and can be used in a variety of ways. The most popular way to use the purple Bok Choy is barely stir-fried. Purple Bok Choy doesn’t require marinating as would some other vegetables as kale would. Even though it is very crunchy, the vegetable is still chewable and delicious. The crunchy texture also implies that it works great while being dipped in sauces.
To store purple Bok Choy, place it in a plastic bag, and put it in the crisper section of your refrigerator. This way, the vegetable can last up to a week, and wash just before using.
As I’ve already mentioned, Stir-Fried Bok Choy is one of the most popular recipes related to the vegetable. Separate the stalks of the vegetable and cut off the leaves. Steam Bok Choy for one minute and then rinse in cold water before drying it. Combine the water, rice wine, cornstarch, and soy sauce in a small bowl and mix it. Heat a skillet before adding ginger and garlic to stir-fry for ten seconds. Add Bok Choy and sprinkle it with salt and sugar. Afterward, stir-fry it for about thirty seconds. Put the mixture from the small bowl inside and stir-fry it for around one minute. Sprinkle the sesame seeds before serving.
When Are Purple Bok Choy in Season in Texas?
To find out when Purple Bok Choy are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.