Sauteed Tatsoi

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In preparation for vegetable month, I decided to put my adventurous hat on and try a bunch of vegetables that either a) I’ve never had before, b) I’ve never cooked before, or c) both. Tatsoi falls into category C. And actually, I had never even heard of tatsoi (or seen tatsoi) before. How it ended up in my belly goes a little sumthin like this…

As I was walking through the Farmers’ Market, I saw this dark green, almost flowery looking bundle of leaves. I was struck first by its size. When I got closer, I realized the leaves looked a bit like bok choy, but the shape of the big bundle was totally different. As I seemingly forced the vendor into a conversation about what the vegetable was (apparently, she was not having a particularly talkative day that Sunday :D), I became more and more intrigued. She described tatsoi as a nuttier, slightly more bitter version of bok choi. She also likened it to a bitter green, like mustard greens.

Bok choy I love. Greens–and I know I am going to lose my “black card” for saying this–mustard, collard, turnip, or beet, I am not a huge fan of. I like a challenge though, so, I bought two heads and strolled home. That day, I had also purchased some mushrooms and was jonesing for sesame oil (I know, strange craving), so I went with East Asian flavors for the prep.

I thought tatsoi was milder than a traditional green, but heartier than its cousin bok choy. It also held up nicely to the Sriracha, which is never a bad thing. I would definitely suggest trying it–especially in the winter–when it’s in season. In fishing around online, I discovered that it’s a good source of calcium, potassium, fiber, phosphorous, and a number of other vitamins and minerals.

Before I give you this super simple recipe, I want to update you on my ‘cleanse.’ It’s going well. Surprisingly, I don’t miss the boozes at all (yet :D). I do however, miss cheese, I ain’t gonna lie. Yesterday, I met a friend at Union Station to catch up, and the smell of Sbarro pizza nearly drove me crazy. After drooling all over my sleeve like Pavlov’s dogs, I eventually got over it. Beside, who needs pizza, when you’ve got tatsoi waiting for you at home??? lol 🙂

Sauteed Tatsoi  (Printable Recipe)


2 bunches Tatsoi–cleaned, no holes, crisp leaves, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic–minced

1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon Tamari (or soy sauce)

1 tablespoon orange juice

2 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon sriracha

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

black pepper

sesame seeds


*Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute until just soft (do not let the garlic turn brown). Add chopped tatsoi and sauté ~3-5 minutes turning frequently. Whisk all remaining ingredients in a small bowl; add to sautéing tatsoi. Cook 2-3 minutes until tatsoi is tender.

*Remove tatsoi with chopsticks or slotted spoon. Plate. Reduce cooking liquid for 1-2 minutes. Pour over platted tatsoi. Finish with sesame seeds.

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Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. Tatsoi, I think that was a character in Star Wars. The recipe sounds good, for those of us who are Tatsoi deprived bok choy or greens as a substitute or maybe a mixture of both?

  2. You continue to amaze me. I love bitter greens. Black card?

  3. I simply love tatsoi, so I know how amazing this meal must have been! I wish I had more access to Asian vegetables here. I’d cook this in a heart beat it looks so wonderful!

  4. Being part black and growing up on the South Side of Chicago where you could smell greens cooking in 95% of the households every day, I had to laugh at the black card comment. 😛 I LOVE greens myself, though I prefer collards to mustards because they aren’t as bitter. These look delicious, especially the way you’ve cooked them. God knows when our rural town will carry something like that but I will definitely be on the lookout for them.

  5. Never heared of tatsoi,i love all ingredients on the sauce,Yum 🙂

  6. LOL @ your “black card.” I lost my “Southern card” for my intense hatred of corn on the cob, fried okra, and cornbread.

    I’m so glad you posted about tatsoi – I’ve seen it in the farmer’s market a lot lately and was curious. And you know I love that sriracha on anything!

  7. I have to say I don’t think that I ever had Tatsoi..the way you made it sound really good!
    Thanks for sharing Tiff, and have an awesome weekend!!!!

  8. Tatsoi sounds amazing and the photo of the vegetable is stunning…It’s so pretty I’d be picking it up at the market! I’m not a huge fan of all greens, but my husband loves them. This one he’d LOVE! Thank you for the introduction to something new!

  9. I love eating veggies (all kinds) more than drinking water. You made it sound and look really tasty. Adding sesame seeds is a nice touch at the end!

  10. I think I can sort of figure out which veg is this and you are right, looks quite similar to bak choy but we have so many variance over here on the leafy veges. Nice with the sesame seeds and the sauce. Seems like one of those Chinese dishes we have over here.

  11. I can just taste the flavors by looking at these yummy photos!!!

  12. You’re killing me girl, don’t worry your black card is still in tact!! My first inclination would be to juice this strange sounding veggie or try to cook it like traditional greens. However I trust soul sister #1 and will try your version.

  13. HAHAHAH! I’m sure you’ll get to keep your black card. You may just be on probation for a while 🙂

    Awesome dish. I never even heard of tatsoi before. Quit making me want stuff I’m not gonna be able to find here!

    Glad to hear your cleanse is going good! The booze is the easy bit. I stopped drinking in August and haven’t looked back. Cheese, on the other hand…

  14. Never heard of it either — sounds delicious, looks amazing! I love stir fried greens…Theresa

  15. Sounds delicious. I have never heard of this veggie but you gotta go with the greens. Tasty sauce that you cooked them in.

  16. LOL on the “black card” comment. I’ve never heard of Tatsoi. Sounds like the name of a samurai sword maker. The color of these greens is amazing. And these flavors? Make me want to reach out with a fork and empty out that plate! Great use of these greens… LOVE…

  17. I’ve never heard of tatsoi either but I’m glad that I know of it now! This recipe sounds wonderful. I love finding new things at the market!

  18. Hello! We just found your site through Amy’s!
    Your sauteed Tatsoi sounds delicious! Happy New Year!

    ~Tammy & Catherine

  19. I love Tatsoi, Tiff and I must say that this recipe of yours is perfect! YUM!

  20. WOW. Learn something new every time I come here 🙂 I’m going to have to search for Tatsoi now!

  21. I’ve never had tatsoi, but it does bear a resemblance to bok choi. Now I want some!

  22. I looks like I am with the majority in saying that I haven’t heard of or eaten tatsoi. However, I would certainly like to try it in this dish. With all of the wonderful flavors you have added, it sounds delicious.

  23. LOL! What about putting Tatsoi on pizza, minus loads of cheese…..maybe add veggies, and chunk tomato sauce? Simple and you have carb, vegetable, and maybe add toasted nuts for protein? I could never give up pizza, where there is a way I would figure it out, LOL! OR get rice milk cheese maybe? The Tatsoi sounds really delicious, and love how you mixed them:-) Hugs, Terra

  24. I smiled about forcing the vendor into a conversation. I find myself doing that frequently here, but it’s much harder when they don’t speak much English 🙂 I’ve never heard of tatsoi either, but your recipe looks tasty!

  25. whoohooo..Congrats on yet another amazing top 9!!!!!!!!!

  26. Top 9, woo-hoo!!!!

  27. Thanks for the comments everyone! HUGS!

  28. I have to say I am amazed at all the vegetables (and fruits too) that I have never even heard of and never eaten! And if it weren’t for the internet, I don’t think I would ever know about them. The way you have prepared the tatsoi sounds so good!

  29. Love this! Great article and photos.

  30. It looks healthy and delicious! It looks like our laxano (lachano). I would like to try this one…

  31. Happy New Year, Tiff. Hope you are well settled into your new home by now.

    I’m not a great fan of cabbagy greens but I do love bok choi. If I can get a hold of Tatsoi, I’m definitely putting it on my d) list = to try asap!

  32. Love going to the market & finding new ingredients! This looks awesome, must try! Just catching up on your posts, love the schedule for 2012 🙂

  33. this looks fabulous haven’t had like this

  34. I love the way you cooked this veggie, simple yet flavorful!

  35. You are so adventurous! Love it, and the tatsoi is actually so gorgeous raw. Lovely recipe 🙂

  36. I am in group “C” with you on this one! I have never heard of this vegetable either. Now that I’m being exposed to all these different blogs and cultures I realize how small my culinary world really was… You have just opened another door with this new green. I love Kale… but really came to love collard greens after I curried them. LOL! So now I need to curry these greens as well.

  37. This is really gorgeous. I love all the flavors you have on this saute. I’m definitely keeping this in mind when I cook my greens this week.

  38. I made this recipe this noon. Easy and tasty. Thanks.

    Re: pizza – Went to a party where we were invited to bring toppings for pizza. I took tatsoi, artichoke hearts and feta. Drizzled with a bit of oil and added some herbs. Nice. The tatsoi is tender enough to cook on the crust.

    So you can have pizza and greens.

  39. I ran into tatsoi at the farmers market today and couldn’t resist at 2 bunches for a dollar. Thanks for sharing your recipe! The vendor said it is Japanese and is similar to bok choy but cooks more like spinach. Can’t wait to make dinner!

  40. I have belonged to a CSA for four years. Four years ago I got Tatsoi in my share. I made a wilted salad recipe with it and did not like it. Since then I swap it out and have not had it since. But my husband picked up the farm share last week and brought it home. So I tried this tonight and I have to say I am now a convert. I LOVE this!

    • This makes me SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy! Debra, seriously comments like this keep me blogging! I’m so glad you enjoyed my tatsoi recipe! 😀 Happy summer CSA experimenting! 😀