Choho Oriental Spinach

Choho has thick dark-green roughly spade-shaped leaves that are tender, with a faintly bitter flavour.  Raw Choho Oriental Spinach has a mild, slightly sweet taste that can be refreshing in salads, while its flavour becomes more acidic and robust when it is cooked.  Choho spinach is a good source of Vitamin A, B6, C, E and folate.

Storage: Store  loosely in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for about 5 days.  Do not wash before storing.  Avoid storing cooked Choho spinach as it does not keep very well.

General Use:Choho should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil.  Trim off the roots and separate the leaves before washing. 

Salad: Mix olive oil, sugar, finely chopped onion, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and white wine vinegar in a jar and refrigerate overnight.  Clean leaf lettuce, Choho and a little cabbage and refrigerate in plastic bag one hour or longer.  Toss all salad ingredients with the dressing, a little at a time, until all are coated.

Warm Salad: In a fry pan, fry diced bacon until crisp.  Reduce heat and add brown sugar, sliced onions, sea salt, vinegar, and dry mustard and bring to a boil. Pour the hot mixture over clean chilled Choho spinach.  Toss lightly and serve.

Sautéed: In wok heat olive oil and add chopped garlic or shallots and sauté until the garlic begins to turn golden. Add Choho spinach, a dash of chilli powder, sea salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.  For a change serve with a spritz of Balsamic vinegar and a few pine nuts.

Steamed: Put cleaned Choho spinach in a steamer over boiling water and stream until it wilts but not until its completely mushy.  Toss steamed Choho spinach with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a little crushed garlic, then sprinkle with shaved parmesan and serve immediately.

Baked: Preheat oven to 175°C and grease a baking dish.  Clean Choho spinach, remove excess water and chop.  Arrange Choho spinach and flour in layers, nestle beaten eggs about midway between the layers.  Combine grated cheese, bread crumbs and fresh chopped parsley.  Sprinkle over top of spinach.  Mix olive oil, milk, sea salt and pepper.  Pour over all ingredients and bake in oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour.