Kitchen Tips

The Different Asian Greens And How To Use Them

We’re so lucky to have a huge selection of Asian greens available. Here’s our guide to the most common ones so you can master authentic Asian cuisine at home.

Choy sum
A popular vegetable that can be used in almost anything, from steamed dishes to stir-fries. Don’t overcook – the stems should still be firm and the leaves just wilted.
Thai basil
With its narrow leaves, purplish stems and a slight aniseed taste, this is one of the identifying flavours of Thai food. Try it with chicken, pork and seafood in stir-fries or curries.
Lemongrass
A tall, clumping tropical grass, only the lower white part of the stem is used, finely chopped, in teas, soup and curry. It also pairs well with poultry, fish, beef and seafood.
Chinese broccoli
Also called gai lan. Blanch the leaves and stems in boiling water for a minute and stir-fry with oyster sauce or steam for a nice side dish.
Baby pak choy
Identified by its greenish, spoon-shaped stems and soft texture, it’s excellent added to stir-fries, soups or steamed. The leaves can also be added to salads.
Water spinach
Sometimes called kang kong, it’s eaten raw in salads in Vietnam. It’s also great stir-fried and goes particularly well with chilli. Cook the stems first because they take a little longer than the leaves.
Banana flower
Banana flowers are from the banana tree. Strip the husks to reveal the tender, yellow-green leaves. Chop and add to salads or soups. After cutting, place in acidulated water until needed.
Daikon
Japanese white radish is often called daikon. Milder than small red radish, they still have a pepper kick. Use grated raw in salads, pickled, fried in omelettes or added to any dish that needs a bite.

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