January 31, 2023
Searles Gardening Team
Have you seen the name ‘Asian Greens’ as seeds or seedlings or in the fresh produce section at the store? Have you passed it by as you are not sure what it is?
They are an easy to grow annual, which are an amazing source of mineral magnesium, vitamin B folate, antioxidants, as well as a great source of fibre.
The leaves can be red, brown, green to a dark green and so they add colour to a salad. Even the stems can be used in stir fries, soups, steamed or as a garnish. The flavours range from a mild mustard to sweeter, giving an unusual zest to an otherwise repetitive salad. The unusually shaped leaves give a fresh texture to stir fries and garnishes, from spoon like shapes to the deeply serrated mizuna, also called the spider mustard.
In different areas the Asian vegetables can have different names and this also adds to the confusion. Yukina, tatsoi, pak choi green, pack choi red, mizuna, wombok,choy sum, are some of the ones commonly seen in seedling punnets. Don’t be put off by the names, shapes or colour but embrace the change and make the family look twice, then ask for more.
Not just for your Asian cuisine but start growing it and experiment using it in a few dishes. Coriander is considered an Asian green, and what a tang it gives. Even the humble cheese sandwich can be enriched with a sprinkle of Asian greens.
They flourish in full sun to part shade in either pots or the gardens, a versatile addition to the garden as well as the kitchen. Plant in Searles Herb and Vegetable Specialty Mix which you can use in both pots or the garden and keep up the water just as you do with lettuce and treat them the same way. When lettuce was in short supply this is the perfect alternative.
As soon as the leaves are a decent size, start harvesting. The younger leaves are the tastiest.
When the plant is nearing harvest time, time to plant a second crop to secure your future supply.