Perusing the array of exotic vegetables available at
farmers’ markets and Asian groceries is a bit like meeting distant relatives at
a family gathering – they look vaguely familiar, but you don’t know their names
and aren’t quite sure if you’ll get along. With proper introductions, however, you
just might end up bringing them home for dinner.
While Asian products like oyster sauce and rice noodles have
become as familiar to non-Asian shoppers as tomato sauce and pasta, others such
as the vegetables in the produce section are still a mystery. Leafy greens, for
instance, are common in Far Eastern cookery, but the typical varieties differ
from those found in Western cuisines and leave even the most adventurous cooks
occasionally wondering how they are used.
If you’re left limp by iceberg lettuce but still baffled by bok choy, let this quick market guide
help you get acquainted with some tasty Asian greens: