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Fruit, Vegetables and Gourds
Choi What
This vegetable is a sort of thick leaved open cabbage that is quite common in both restaurants and home cooking.

It has a delicate and interesting taste similar to that of any normal cabbage. However, occasionally one may have quite a strong and slightly bitter flavour, which usually means it has be picked and stored for a while.
This vegetable requires specific intonation in Cantonese, with 'choi' being simple. 'what' is like the sound of a duck's quack.

Purchase ones that have healthy leaves, no drooping. The body can be 6 or more inches in diameter and should be firm. These are more likely to be local produce in wet markets.

Image: Choi What, a sort of thick open cabbage - Click to Enlarge
Cut or pinch of the leaves from the base and discard anything you don't like the look of. Wash the leaves well under the tap.

Chinese usually cook the leaves whole, although you can chop them crosswise or longitudinally if you prefer.
Cook as a standard Cantonese stir fry vegetable:
1. Throw into a heated wok a cup of water and bring to a hearty simmer.
2. Add the leaves, and a pinch of salt.
3. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the thicker centre of the leaves is cooked and easy to eat. A bit like potatoes really.
4. That's it! Serve to table in a suitable dish.


We do not have any defined recipes for this vegetable, although you can always add: some crushed garlic, ginger, and a teaspoon of chicken bouillon to make a healthy gravy.

Otherwise Cantonese chefs tend to mix this with other dishes as a base upon which to present onother dish to table, such as chicken or pork.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.
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