Chinese cabbages: bok choy, pak choi and wombok

Chinese cabbage varietiesThe varieties of Chinese cabbage can be confusing. There are so many and each may be known by a different name in every region. And the different varieties have different names all across Asia. For instance, in the Philippines, what we know as cabbage is the repolyo — round, compact and light green with a hard core.

Many don’t know it but pechay is also a variety of cabbage and, in appearance (above), it closely resembles the Chinese bok choy although some pechay have wider leaves and resemble the pei tsai more than the bok choy.

Pak choyNot pak choi? If the stems are white, it is bok choy. If they are green, it is pak choi. BUT there is a hybrid pak choi that really, really looks like our native pechay.

I know, it’s confusing. Don’t ask me about scientific names, I really get confused even more if I dig that deep because there are so many subspecies of the Asian cabbage.

wombokWhat we call pechay Baguio is very much related to the wom bok, another variety of Chinese cabbage. It is sometimes called napa cabbage.

If you want to view more photos and read more details about the different types of Chinese cabbage, click here. If all the details and images leave you even more confused, that makes two of us.