Pak Choi

Pak Choi
Pak Choi
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Introducing Pak Choi 

The first thing to make clear is that pak choi and bok choy are the same thing! Pak Choi is the referred name in the UK, while Bok Choy is used in the US. Consequently, as with many things, Australians use the two names for this leafy Asian green interchangeably. There are a number of varieties of you can choose from. These include Osaka Purple, Choi Sum, and Joi Choi.

Growing Pak choi

Pak Choi, Bok Choy or Chinese cabbage is an excellent leafy green to grown in the dry season in the tropics.

Location and Soil

Choose a spot that enjoys full sun. Plant in rich, moist soil, well draining soil, with plenty of well rotted compost in it.


How to Grow from Seed

Sow your seeds at a depth three times the diameter of the seed.

Water and Wait

The preferred soil temperatures are between 21°C and 30°C. Water regularly to make sure soil remains moist.


Sprouts should emerge in around 6 to 12 days.

Time and space

The dry season is the time to grow pak choi in the tropics, as they prefer the slightly cooler temperatures. Space plants 30 – 40 cm apart.


You should have something to harvest in 6-11 weeks.



You can apply natural fertilisers such as fish emulsion every few weeks during their growing period for the best results.


Pak Choi is best grown in the dry season in the tropics, so it will need regular watering. One good watering a day should do the job.

Pests and Diseases

Pak Choi very attractive to a number of pests that can do serious damage. These include aphids, slugs, leafminers and whiteflies.

The best advice to avoid pests is to rotate crops and only use pathogen-free seed. Then apply fungicides if and when problems emerge.

Eating the Pak Choi

Pak Choi cooked with sesame seeds
Pak Choi cooked with sesame seeds

Pak choi can be eaten raw in salads, or you can put it on a sandwich instead of lettuce. However, most commonly it is eaten cooked. This includes on the stovetop in a soup, as a stir-fry or in fried rice dish.

Health Benefits

Weight Loss

Eating high fibre foods such as park choi can help you lose weight. Such foods are very low in calories and also increase you feelings of ‘fullness’ when having a meal.


Eating this vegetable also aids digestive health and may help to prevent constipation.

Immune System

The mineral selenium in this vegetable improves the immune response to infection by stimulating the production of T-cells. Indeed these T-cells can help to combat invading bacteria and viruses.


Pak choi is rich in antioxidants that may help protect your cells from oxidative damage that can result in a number of chronic diseases.

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By Rob Pyne

Quadriplegic, Former MP, Councillor & Political Campaigner: Rob is an Eco Socialist who shares ways to survive & fight capitalism. #socialism #championoftheunderdog Occupation: Online Editor Employer: Champion of the Underdog! Book: Struggle and Resistance in the Far North

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