Produce report: July 24
There are many varieties of bok choy available in New Zealand but the most common has thick white stems with smooth, scoop-shaped leaves − in bigger or baby versions. Sometimes you may also see Shanghai bok choy with green stems.
The whole of the bok choy is used. Chop and include in stir-fries and soups or do as Warren Elwin does: quarter lengthwise, toss through a little soy, sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce and roast quickly in a hot oven.
Kai lan (photographed above) means “mustard orchid” in Cantonese and is closely related to cabbage. With long green stems and thick, glossy leaves, it has white flowers and a nutty, bittersweet, broccoli flavour that’s also perfect for quick stir-frying. Look out for bags of Fresh Grower’s kailaan in supermarkets now.
To prepare, chop the leaves roughly and cut the stems into even-sized pieces. You may need to peel the fibrous outsides. Stir-fry in a very hot wok or steam. One of the simplest ways of cooking Asian greens is to plunge them into boiling water and then dress them. See Nadia Lim’s recipe.
Things are not looking so good for fresh herbs. Coriander, dill, basil and mint are all is short supply thanks to the cold weather.
Local green kiwifruit and Mexican mangoes are again this week’s best fruit buys, followed closely by mandarins. Look out for imported pineapples at good prices and Gisborne navel oranges, along with local grapefruit.
If you have a glut at home you may like to whip up a batch or two of delicious grapefruit curd to brighten your morning toast.
3 Ways with Asian greens