We are all about eating good stuff, and using foods that are seasonal – and according to Chef James Diack – Pak Choi is the new winter food to enjoy!
“Eating seasonally means eating fruits and vegetables when they are at their best. It also means you get the most value for money – and the most delicious ingredients,” explains Johannesburg’s pioneer of provenance, Chef James Diack.
For Winter, James and his teams at Coobs, The National and The Federal have developed some delicious season-inspired dishes around one of the season’s best ingredients, Pak Choi.
Traditionally cultivated in China, Pak Choi is reminiscent of Romaine lettuce on top, and large celery on the bottom. It can be eaten raw or cooked, or even pickled as Kim Chee. It also has many health benefits – it contains vitamins C, A, and K, and excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron.
• Coobs have grilled it as a side for their confit duck leg and scotched eggs.
• The National have wilted it and serve it with their confit acorn-fed pork belly served with pulled smoked pork.
• The Federal have fried it and serve it alongside their hot and sour pork, served with a cashew egg fried rice.
Other seasonal vegetables to look out for in for the remainder of Winter include broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, coriander, kale, leeks, lettuce, peas, radish and turnips.
Diack recently producer a Seasonality Calendar for South Africans as a guide on what to eat each season, and what they can expect to see on his plates during the months and weeks of the year based on the produce from Brightside Farm.
The Seasonality Calendar will be available for diners to view in each of James’ three restaurants.
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!