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Tatsoi (Spoon mustard) Nutrition facts and Health benefits

Selection and storage

Tatsoi, originating from Asia, was traditionally linked with Asian cuisine, but now, these greens have transcended borders and integrated into diverse culinary styles globally. They are commercially cultivated and grown in home gardens. When in season, they are readily available fresh at farmer’s markets, specialty grocers, and in home gardens.

Tatsoi can be harvested at early stages for baby leaves and later for dark-green leaves and nutritious petioles. While young, its leaves have a mild flavor and are prepared much like spinach.

At home, tatsoi will be kept for 3 to 5 days when unwashed, wrapped in a damp paper towel, and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. store it in the refrigerator soon after buying as they wither soon if kept at room temperature.

Use fresh tatsoi greens as soon as possible to enjoy special flavor and health benefits.

Preparation and serving methods

Tatsoi (tat choy) is a popular green-leafy vegetable in Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese cuisine. Fresh leaves, flower buds, and stalks are used in a variety of cuisines all over East Asia.

To prepare, wash the leaves thoroughly in clean running water to remove sand/dirt, and then rinse in saline water for about 15-30 minutes to remove any insecticide residues. Trim off any thick petioles and stems.

Here are some serving tips:

Tatsoi is a versatile leafy green with a gentle, subtly tangy, semi-bitter taste, well suited for raw or lightly cooked dishes. Young leaves are often favored for mixed salads and are an excellent addition to other greens such as spinach, arugula, watercress, pea tendrils, and mizuna.

The leaves and stems offer versatility in cooking—they can be finely chopped and incorporated into quiche, stir-fried alongside other vegetables, sautéed to accompany fish, wilted with warm sauces for a smoother texture, or added to soups right before serving for added flavor and texture.

pizza with crimini mushrooms, tatsoi, mozzarella
Pizza with crimini mushrooms, tatsoi, mozzarella.
Courtesy: Timothy Vollmer
  • Young, tender, baby leaves of tat choy are enjoyed raw in salads, or layered into sandwiches.

  • The crisp greens can be used as a substitute in recipes for bok choy, and spinach. Tatsoi is also frequently utilized in briefly cooked preparations, including stir-frying, sautéing, steaming, and braising.

  • Tatsoi can be pickled (kimchi) to extend its shelf life.

  • In Japan, tatsoi greens are commonly paired with umami-rich ingredients like scallops, mushrooms, and seaweed to enhance flavors.

  • Tatsoi offers further culinary options: it can be added as a flavorful topping for pizza and tacos, or blended into pesto for a distinctive twist.

Safety profile

  • The presence of phytates and dietary fiber in tatsoi might impede the absorption of iron, calcium, and magnesium.

  • Tatsoi, as a member of the Brassica family, contains oxalic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in certain vegetables that could crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract for some individuals. Those with a history of oxalate urinary tract stones are recommended to avoid consuming vegetables from the Brassica family. It’s essential to maintain adequate water intake to support normal urine output.

  • Tat choy might also contain goitrogens, which have the potential to disrupt thyroid hormone production and lead to a deficiency in thyroxine hormone for individuals with thyroid issues.

(Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.)

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≺≺ Back to Vegetables from tatsoi. Visit here for an impressive list of vegetables with complete illustrations of their nutrition facts and health benefits.

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Further reading:

  1. STANDARD TABLES OF FOOD COMPOSITION IN JAPAN – 2015 – (Seventh Revised Version).

  2. Tatsoi- Specialty Produce (Link opens in new window).

  3. Refer Stanford School of Medicine Cancer information Page- Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk (Link opens in new window).

  4. Kitazawa Seed Company (Link opens in new window).

  5. Tatsoi- Get to know (Link opens in new window).

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