Chinese cabbage

Last updated
Chinese cabbage
Species Brassica rapa
Cultivar group Chinensis Group, Pekinensis Group
Origin China, before the 15th century
Cultivar group membersMany; see text.
Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis ChineseCabbage.jpg
Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis

Chinese cabbage ( Brassica rapa , subspecies pekinensis and chinensis) can refer to two cultivar groups of Chinese leaf vegetables often used in Chinese cuisine: the Pekinensis Group (napa cabbage) and the Chinensis Group (bok choy).

Contents

These vegetables are both variant cultivars or subspecies of the turnip and belong to the same genus as such Western staples as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Both have many variations in name, spelling, and scientific classification, especially bok choy cultivars.

History

The Chinese cabbage was principally grown in the Yangtze River Delta region, but the Ming Dynasty naturalist Li Shizhen popularized it by bringing attention to its medicinal qualities. The variant cultivated in Zhejiang around the 14th century was brought north and the northern harvest of napa cabbage soon exceeded the southern one. These were then exported back south along the Grand Canal to Hangzhou and traded by sea as far south as Guangdong.[ citation needed ]

Napa cabbage became a staple in Northeastern Chinese cuisine for making suan cai , Chinese sauerkraut. In Korea, this developed into kimchi.[ citation needed ] Chinese cabbage is now commonly found in markets throughout the world, catering both to the Chinese diaspora and to northern markets who appreciate its resistance to cold.

In 2017, aboard the International Space Station a crop of Chinese cabbage from a plant growth device included an allotment for crew consumption, while the rest was saved for scientific study. [1]

Cultivar groups

There are two distinctly different groups of Brassica rapa used as leaf vegetables in China, and a wide range of cultivars within these two groups. The binomial name B. campestris is also used.

Pekinensis Group

This group is the more common of the two, especially outside Asia; names such as napa cabbage, dà báicài (Chinese:大白菜, "large white vegetable"); Baguio petsay or petsay wombok (Tagalog); Chinese white cabbage; "wong a pak" (Hokkien, Fujianese); baechu (Korean : 배추), wongbok and hakusai (Japanese : 白菜 or ハクサイ ) usually refer to members of this group. Pekinensis Group cabbages have broad green leaves with white petioles, tightly wrapped in a cylindrical formation and usually forming a compact head. As the group name indicates, this is particularly popular in northern China around Beijing (Peking).

Chinensis Group

Chinensis Group cultivars do not form heads; instead, they have smooth, dark green leaf blades forming a cluster reminiscent of mustard or celery. These cultivars are popular in southern China and Southeast Asia. Being winter-hardy, they are increasingly grown in Northern Europe. This group was originally classified as its own species under the name B. chinensis by Linnaeus.[ citation needed ]

Bok choy Starr-070730-7871-Brassica rapa-Chinese cabbage-Foodland Pukalani-Maui (24797118771).jpg
Bok choy

See also

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Collard (plant) Variety of plant

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Bok choy subspecies of plant

Bok choy, pak choi, or pok choi is a type of Chinese cabbage. Chinensis varieties do not form heads and have green leaf blades with lighter bulbous bottoms instead, forming a cluster reminiscent of mustard greens. Chinensis varieties are popular in southern China and Southeast Asia. Being winter-hardy, they are increasingly grown in Northern Europe. Now considered a subspecies of Brassica rapa, this group was originally classified as its own species under the name Brassica chinensis by Carl Linnaeus. They are a member of the family of Brassicaceae or Cruciferae, also commonly known as the mustards, the crucifers, or the cabbage family.

Gai lan type of leaf vegetable in the brassica family

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Choy sum variety of plant

Choy sum is a leafy vegetable commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It is a member of the genus Brassica of the mustard family, Brassicaceae. Choy sum is a transliteration of the Cantonese name, which can be literally translated as "heart of the vegetable". It is also known as Chinese flowering cabbage.

<i>Brassica oleracea</i> Species of plant

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<i>Brassica rapa</i> species of plant

Brassica rapa is a plant species growing in various widely cultivated forms including the turnip ; napa cabbage, bomdong, bok choy, and rapini; and Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, an oilseed which has many common names, including turnip rape, field mustard, bird rape, and keblock.

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Savoy cabbage vegetable

Savoy cabbage, is a variety of the plant species Brassica oleracea. Savoy cabbage is a winter vegetable and one of several cabbage varieties. It is thought to originate from England and the Netherlands. In the 18th century, it was introduced into Germany as "Savoyer Kohl". It is named after the Savoy Region in France. It has crinkled, emerald green leaves. The leaves are crunchy and tender. Known cultivars include 'Savoy King', 'Tundra' and 'Winter King'.

Suan cai Traditional Chinese pickled vegetables

Suan cai is a traditional Chinese pickled Chinese cabbage or Chinese mustard, used for a variety of purposes. Suan cai is a unique form of pao cai, due to the ingredients used and the method of production.

Acephala group

The acephala group refers to any type of Brassica which grows without the central 'head' typical of many varieties of cabbage. These are included within the species Brassica oleracea, such as Kale. The name literally means "without a head" in contrast to those varieties known as capitata or "with a head". This group includes a number of species, both wild and cultivated, many of which are grown for their edible leaves and flowers.

Tatsoi species of plant, Tatsoi

Tatsoi is an Asian variety of Brassica rapa grown for greens. Also called tat choy, it is closely related to the more familiar Bok Choy. This plant has become popular in North American cuisine as well, and is now grown throughout the world.

Napa cabbage a type of Chinese cabbage

Napa or napa cabbage is a type of Chinese cabbage originating near the Beijing region of China and is widely used in East Asian cuisine. Since the 20th century, it has also become a widespread crop in Europe, the Americas and Australia. In much of the world, this is the vegetable referred to as "Chinese cabbage". In Australia it also is referred to as "wombok".

Cabbage is a leafy vegetable, derived from the species Brassica oleracea.

<i>Zha cai</i> Pickled mustard plant stem from Chongqing, China

Zha cai is a type of pickled mustard plant stem originating from Chongqing, China. The name may also be written in English as cha tsai, tsa tsai, jar choy, jar choi, ja choi, ja choy, or cha tsoi. In English, it is commonly known as Sichuan vegetable, Szechwan vegetable, or Chinese pickled vegetable, although all of these terms may also refer to any of a number of other Chinese pickles, including the several other types in the Sichuan province itself.

References

  1. Heiney, Anna (2017-02-17). "Cabbage Patch: Fifth Crop Harvested Aboard Space Station". NASA. Retrieved 2018-05-11.