Crucifer Family - (Mustard) bok choy, daikon, gailon, Chinese cabbage
Bok Choy and other Choys - (Brassica rapa var. chinesis): All are non-heading types of cabbage. Bok choy (pak choi), choy sum (var. purpurea), yu choy (similar to bok choy except it is more delicate and sweeter), gai choy (B. juncea), and tai cai (B. chinesis) are all closely related to gailon, mibuna, mizuna, Napa, and turnip. Bok choy has green leaves and white midribs. Baby bok choy (Shanghai) has green midribs and leaf bases. Cool season.
All are used in stir-fried dishes with meat and other vegetables. The stem and leaves are also used in soups. They are also good raw in salads.
Daikon - (Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus): Also called Chinese radish, this root crop is very closely related to the common radish. An Alternaria leaf blight and turnip mosaic are the main problems on the leaves but aphids, and soil wireworms can also be a problem. The main planting times are spring and fall, but some varieties can be planted almost year-round. Bolting (premature seedstalk) can be a problem with other varieties. Lo bok is a separate cultivar that may have some green coloration. Medicinal uses are many.
Daikon can be grated and added to various cooked dishes, sliced and added fresh to salads, or stir-fry onions and add shredded daikon and shrimp (6-8 minutes). The young leaves are also good steamed and served with a little butter. Daikon seeds are slightly peppery and great in a tossed salad.
Gailon - (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra): This Chinese broccoli (Kale) very closely resembles the more familiar broccoli, but with much smaller stems and flowers. The seeds are planted for a spring crop or fall crop. Main problems are aphids, armyworms, and cabbage butterflies. Pick just before the flowers open for best quality. The stems are more tender and sweeter than broccoli.
Stir-fry the 2" pieces of gailon for one minute, then cover with water and cook covered for two more minutes. Stir oyster sauce into a pan with heated oil and water, then spoon over the broccoli and eat. OR, instead of oyster sauce, use minced garlic and chicken broth and a little soy sauce. It is also good in stir-fries with beef, pork, chicken and with noodles.
Chinese cabbage - (Brassica rapa var. pekinesis): is also known as celery cabbage and Napa cabbage. The heads are fairly dense, though not as hard as regular cabbage. They may be of two types - 'Michili', which are tall and upright, and 'Napa', which are more round or barrel shaped. The leaves are thinner than cabbage. Pest problems include cabbageworm, loopers, armyworms, aphids, and flea beetles.
The flavor is more delicate than cabbage. It is one of the last ingredients to add to a stir-fry dish. It is also added raw to salads