So…What’s Tatsoi?

By Sandra Porter Leon, MS RDN

Never heard of tatsoi? Think spinach with a mild, sweet and a slightly tangy flavor. With roots in Asian cuisine, this “super green” has ventured out to worldwide foodies and is now available to you- directly from our own Neighborhood Harvest greenhouse.

A member of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with close cousins bok choy and brussels sprouts), tatsoi is loaded with powerful phytochemicals which boost your immune system with both anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Just one cup of these spoon-shaped leaves contains nearly double the Vitamin C of an orange. It also provides a full day’s supply of Vitamin A, a healthy dose of folate and potassium, and if that weren’t enough, the calcium equivalent of a glass of milk!

I rarely use the term “superfood” but this Asian green hits the mark, with all its nutrient-dense qualities. Additionally, its low ratio of oxalates (substances that reduce calcium absorption) makes it a safe, healthy addition to anyone’s diet, even for those with arthritis or kidney stones. Try this versatile and delicious powerhouse, and let us know what you think!

To make cooking with tatsoi easy, use spinach as your guide.

  1. Add to your favorite salad.  Mix with ANY of our TNH greens such as arugula or mesclun for a healthy delicious salad. Because the fat-soluble nutrients (vitamins A and K, and carotenoids) require a little fat to be absorbed, I always add a few seeds (like pumpkin) or a drizzle of olive oil in order to absorb all the nutrients.

  2. Enjoy as a quick stir-fry. Don’t overcook and use the stems! Unlike kale, tatsoi stems are white and sweet and will soften as you cook. And like above, always add a little fat for better absorption. For a quick meal, I love sautéing tatsoi in sesame or olive oil and garlic, adding a splash of tamari and rice vinegar, then topping with an egg, avocado and a shot of hot sauce. Bread optional. Easy.

  3. Toss a handful… To add a nutrition boost to any meal, throw a handful of tatsoi in any soup or stew before serving, as well as your favorite pasta or pesto dish. You can also layer the greens in sandwiches or tacos, and even supplement your favorite smoothie. I especially like it with our Green Goodness smoothie. Enjoy!

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any favorite tatsoi recipes, comments, or questions on this article or ideas for future topics, please click here to send me an email.