Take these vegetables from the toko

No matter how rich the Netherlands is in the field of vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers and cauliflowers are still the most popular choice. Fortunately, the eggplant has now been embraced, but there are still so many other pearls to be found. Like at the toko: make your move next time and take the following vegetables home.

Be sure to do this more often in the future.

You don’t know what you’re missing: take these vegetables with you from the toko

We now know that zucchini, bell pepper, cucumber and tomato can be tasty. But also try the following vegetables.


The Surinamese sopropo is a member of the cucumber family and has a distinct, bitter taste. One in the ‘you have to love it’ category, but if you love it, you don’t want anything else. Delicious with other strong flavors such as salted fish or salted meat. If you like sopropo, you will also like bitawiri: a Surinamese leafy vegetable that is also bitter.


Secretly not a vegetable but a fruit; yet we put it in between because you eat it like vegetables: okra. Fried, just as a snack or even okra as a binding agent: the small green fruit is more versatile than you might initially think. However you serve it: it’s always delicious.

Bok choy or xiao bai cai

Chances are you’ve eaten bok choy before. Measure its little brother, called bok choy or xiao bai cai. This super versatile vegetable is both delicious as a side dish with a lot of garlic, but also as the star player of your main course, such as in these noodles from the griddle. In short: a vegetable that you simply cannot not like.

crispy noodles from the griddle
Source: Winnie Verswijvel for Culy

Chinese spinach

We have bundled it as Chinese spinach for convenience, but this is a collective name for countless types of spinach. Clarion, water spinach and hin choy are perhaps the best known variants. The possibilities are endless, just like with the well-known spinach: in soups, in dumplings, salads such as this urap trap and so on.

Chinese chives

If you like garlic – who doesn’t – and chives, then we strongly recommend that you also try Chinese chives. This plant from the garlic family is somewhat coarser and wider than chives and perhaps most comparable to wild garlic. Chinese chives are – in contrast to ‘normal’ chives – also very tasty in hot dishes. What are you waiting for?


It was a while ago when you saw it popping up everywhere: purple yam or ube. The hype was most likely due to his striking purple complexion, which did very well on the socials. The ube is an ingredient that often – especially in the Philippines – plays the leading role in sweet dishes. Think of cheesecakes, smoothies or ice cream.

Ube Food trends of 2023 / food trends 2023
Illustration: Ogechi Chibueze for Culy

Burdock root

Burdock root or gobo is widely eaten in Japan and North and South Korea. In terms of shape, it resembles large salsify, the taste can be somewhat sweet after preparation and the older, the more bitter. In Japan, for example, you can find gobo in sushi or julienne cut with carrot and mirin dressing.


Finally, an editor’s favorite: enoki. This mushroom not only tastes very good, but also looks dazzling. For example, we are happy to deep-fry the enoki into a fan, which makes a spectacular dish. But definitely also process it in a bowl of steaming ramen.

Deep fried enoki fans
Source: Nancy van Batenburg for Culy

Get this right away at the toko:

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You don’t know what you’re missing: take these vegetables with you from the toko

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