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For the villages in Romania, see Făcăi (disambiguation).
Fat choy
Faat choy.jpg
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning hair vegetable
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Literal meaning hair vegetable

Fat choy (Nostoc flagelliforme), also known as faat choy, fa cai, black moss, hair moss or hair weed is a terrestrial cyanobacterium (a type of photosynthetic bacteria) that is used as a vegetable in Chinese cuisine. When dried, the product has the appearance of black hair. For that reason, its name in Chinese means "hair vegetable." When soaked, this vegetable has a very soft texture which is like very fine vermicelli.

Production[edit]

Fat choy
Nostoc flagelliforme microscope.jpg
Nostoc flagelliforme under a microscope
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Division: Cyanobacteria
Class: see [1]
Order: Nostocales
Family: Nostocaceae
Genus: Nostoc
Species: N. flagelliforme
Binomial name
Nostoc flagelliforme

Fat choy grows on the ground in the Gobi Desert and the Qinghai Plateau. Over-harvesting on the Mongolian steppes has furthered erosion and desertification in those areas. The Chinese government has limited its harvesting, which has caused its price to increase. This may be one reason why some commercially available fat choy has been found to be adulterated with strands of a non-cellular starchy material, with other additives and dyes.[2][3] Real fat choy is dark green in color, while the counterfeit fat choy appears black.[2]

Chinese culture[edit]

The last two syllables of this name in Cantonese sound the same as another Cantonese saying meaning "struck it rich" (though the second syllable, coi, has a different tone) -- this is found, for example, in the Cantonese saying, "Gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4" (恭喜發財, meaning "wishing you prosperity"), which is often proclaimed during Chinese New Year. For that reason, this product is a popular ingredient in dishes used for the Chinese New Year. It is enjoyed as an alternative to cellophane noodles.[citation needed] It is mostly used in Cantonese cuisine and Buddhist cuisine. It is sometimes used as a hot pot ingredient.

Vietnamese culture[edit]

Fat choy is also used in Vietnamese cuisine. It is called tóc tiên or tóc thiên (literally "angel's hair") in Vietnamese.

Health effects[edit]

A research team from the biochemistry department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong said that international research has shown that Fat choy, besides having no nutritional value, has also been found to contain Beta-methylamino L-alanine (BMAA), a toxic amino acid that could affect the normal functions of nerve cells. Professor Chan King-ming of the team told the media that eating Fat choy could lead to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and dementia.[2]

There is also a study by Takenaka which shows no significant difference between laboratory rats fed Nostoc flagelliforme and the control group (Source 2).

Notes and references[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • But, Paul Pui-Hay; Ling Cheng; Pui Kwan Chan; David Tai-Wai Lau; and Joyce Wing-Hin But (2002). "Nostoc flagelliforme and Faked Items Retailed in Hong Kong." Journal of Applied Phycology 14: 143-145.
  • Takenaka, H., Yamaguchi, Y., Sakaki, S., Watarai, K., Tanaka, N., Hori, M., Seki, H., M. Tsuchida, M., Yamada, A., Nishimori, T., and Morinaga, T. "Safety evaluation of Nostoc flagelliforme (nostocales, cyanophyceae) as a potential food". Food and Chemical Toxicology. 1998. Volume 36, Issue 12. Pages 1073-1077.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_choy — Please support Wikipedia.
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Las Vegas Sun
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:00:00 -0700

A restaurant that is the subject of uniformly great word-of-mouth accounts is Fat Choy at Eureka casino on East Sahara Avenue. The latest nudge I've received to visit the Asian-American café was from County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, during the ...

New York Magazine

New York Magazine
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:04:42 -0700

Fat Choy (595 E. Sahara Ave.; 702-794-3464) chef Sheridan Su once worked at Joël Robuchon; now he has his own little diner inside the Eureka, a smoky slots casino Off Strip. The bao, the short-rib grilled cheese, and the duck fried rice are all must ...
 
Eater National
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:03:45 -0700

2008_10_hasmaps.jpg More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort.
 
Sportinglife.com
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 03:25:49 -0700

Kung Hei Fat Choy (USA) 16-1 (9-13) Led, pushed along and headed 3f out, chased leader until over 2f out, soon weakened, 6th of 8, 17l behind Mazaaher (9-0) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-85 (4) in Aug. Twenty One Choice (IRE) 9-2 (9-6) Chased leaders ...

Camden New Journal newspapers website

Camden New Journal newspapers website
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:15:00 -0700

THE Town Hall has issued an apology and agreed to extend a consultation on a major redesign of Tottenham Court Road after inaccurate subtitles turned an information film into complete gibberish. The council-commissioned film outlines plans for a ...
 
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Thu, 14 Aug 2014 05:56:15 -0700

HAMPSTEAD missed the chance to go top in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League on Saturday after basement boys Brondesbury took the lion's share of the spoils in a frustrating draw. Having lost the toss the champions were sent ...

Camden New Journal newspapers website

Camden New Journal newspapers website
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:52:30 -0700

Cinema. FILM · GUNG HEY FAT CHOY – Chinese New Year 2013 · CINEMA: Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained · CINEMA: Also On Release This Week - The Sessions · CINEMA: Mccullin Directed by David and Jacqui Morris ...

Camden New Journal newspapers website

Camden New Journal newspapers website
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:00:39 -0700

TOTTENHAM manager Mauricio Pochettino praised his players for following his playing philosophy after they nicked all three points at West Ham with an injury-time winner from debutant Eric Dier. “I am very pleased for him on his debut,” he said. “But ...
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