What is Tatsoi?
Yes, it’s the star of the Strawberry Tatsoi Salad, new to the Greens seasonal spring menu, but what is Tatsoi, exactly?
A member of the Brassica family (along with mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and the like), this dark green, leafy Asian cabbage is also known as “spoon mustard” or “spinach mustard”. Originally propagated in Japan, it is now more widely used in Chinese cuisine.
For some chefs, Tatsoi is a salad’s best kept secret. You might have even eaten it without knowing! Small, delicate, and slightly sweeter than spinach, Tatsoi resembles miniature bok choy with its petite spoon-shaped leaves. When sautéd, Tatsoi develops a slightly nutty, earthy flavor similar to spinach, with a soft, creamy texture and tender pale green stems. It can also be grown and harvested as micro greens, lending its delicate flavor to a variety of dishes from soups to sandwiches, salads to stir-frys.
Nutrition-wise, Tatsoi is a good source of vitamins A, C and K, carotenoids, folate, calcium, potassium, fiber, glucosinolates and phytonutrients, making it one of the healthiest salad greens available.
Tatsoi is grown throughout the world, but has lost popularity in the United States over the past few years, resulting in its falling out of favor with many local farmers. But, since it is versatile, nutrition-packed and delicious, Greens requested that Star Canyon Ranch, a hyper-local farm in Berkeley, begin to grow it to supply the restaurant.
Epi-curious about Tatsoi? Give the Strawberry Tatsoi Salad a try. It might end up being your fave on the menu this spring.