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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 .[4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ ijs.sgmjournals.org
  2. ^ a b c The standard.com.hk
  3. ^ Waynesword
  4. ^ 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.

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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Nassau News Live
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:37:30 -0700

And, says Sheridan Su—formerly of Joel Robuchon and now of his own restaurant, Fat Choy—after years of realizing the visions of some of the world's most famous chefs, “it's natural for some of them to settle down, realize their dream, and create ...

The Northern Echo

The Northern Echo
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 10:26:15 -0700

'I'm going to the school, to talk about about Chinese New Year.' There seem to be a great many children jammed into one classroom. Win smiles at the rows of upturned faces, like little pink peas on a shelf. 'Kung hei Fat Choy! Happy new year! My ...
 
Huffington Post Canada
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:05:09 -0700

Gung HAGGIS Fat Choy. It doesn't get much more multicultural than a dinner that celebrates Chinese and Scottish cultures together. The annual event, created by Todd Wong, brings over 300 people together to learn about our city's intersecting cultures.
 
Vancouver Courier
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:47:10 -0700

24. Kaye, now the editor of Ricepaper magazine, co-founded Hapa-palooza with filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns and teacher and community organizer Zarah Martz. Stearns and Kaye attended a hapa night attached to a Gung Haggis Fat Choy Chinese-Scottish ...
 
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Fri, 19 Sep 2014 07:37:30 -0700

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Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:00:00 -0700

SPURS played out a battling goal less draw away at Partizan Belgrade in their opening game of the Europa League last night (Thursday). Manager Mauricio Pochettino gave two summer signings debuts in the Serbian capital, with defender Federico Fazio ...

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Sat, 13 Sep 2014 10:54:36 -0700

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