Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Growing Rubi Pak Choi with purple leaves!

Over the last few months, we have had two varieties of Pak Choi (Pak Choy, Bok Choy) growing in our vegetable patch.  The first is the magnificent looking  Rubi (F1) Pak Choi which has lovely deep purple leaves and pale green stems, and the other is a white stemmed, green leaved Dwarf Bok Choy .

This year, I decided to grow Rubi Pak Choi during the cooler months.  The seeds were sowed in the late Summer in the UK (September), and then planted out shortly after.

I decided to grow them later in the growing season this time, because my last attempt at growing Rubi Pak Choi in the summer turned into a holey, purple tie-dyed disaster (for some reason, the leaves don't stay purple under the hot sun, and the colours seem to run).

Growing vegetables in the cooler months means that some of the insects that normally create unsightly holes in my vegetables (like flea beetles) were virtually absent.

Slugs and birds were, annoyingly, still very active!!

Rubi Pak Choi seedlings emerge slightly tinged purple

By mid December, some of our Pak Choi was ready to be harvested.  This can be done in two ways, either by harvesting individual leaves in a cut-and-come-again approach or by cutting off the whole head.  A pair of sharp scissors will come in handy for this.

I also enjoy harvesting them whole, when they are relatively small as they are lovely and sweet, and it is a bit of a treat (and of course, a joy to photograph!).

Pak Choi in our household is usually stir fried with oil, either garlic or ginger, and sea salt.

So, what does Rubi Pak Choi taste like?  To me, the texture of the stems is similar to that of the Tatsoi, and the leaves are slightly less delicate than traditional Chinese Pak Choi.

If you feel inspired to do some gardening and grow your own vegetables, then here is more information:

Pak Choi Seeds:
Australia:  Chinese supermarkets generally stock Chinese vegetable seeds.  Try: Minara Seeds Pty Ltd (K-Jay International Co.) 02-98894555

UK:  Rubi F1 Pak Choi seen here is from Suttons

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