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The Asian Salad Kitchen Garden Salad Garden

The Asian Salad Kitchen Garden 

The most complicated ethnic vegetables to understand and get straight are the Asian varieties.  Thanks to Kitazawa Seed Co. of Oakland, California, I think I can guide you through the maze of Oriental vegetables.  I’d like to start small, using one themed garden at a time, so I’ll begin with an Asian Salad Kitchen Garden.  While an Asian salad may not include the same ingredients that a regular green salad has, you might enjoy trying something new.  You can also toss the Asian baby greens into your regular salad to add interest and taste.

Some, if not most, Asian vegetables are considered cool crops.  However, if you are growing the varieties for the baby leaf to toss into salads, they shouldn’t be affected too much in spring and into some summer.  Then too, you can always grow a winter Asian salad garden and instead of adding the greens to salads, use them in soups and stir-fries.

For a complete list of Asian vegetables and their sources visit  The Asian Kitchen Garden

CABBAGE (Loose head) 

Beka Santoh  25 days.  A loose-head type cabbage widely grown in Japan.  The leaves are light green, slightly serrated, and frilly white stalks are 8” tall.  Sow in spring.  Source:  KIT 

 Beka Santoh  loose cabbage Beka Santoh  loose head cabbage    Photo courtesy Kitazawa Seed Co. 

Maruba Santoh Round Leaves  30-40 days.  Mild flavored, heat tolerant and suitable for year-round growing.  Tender, smooth, round, light green leaves and stalks.  Harvest at any stage.  Source:  KIT 


Kentsai-Dark Green  30-50 days.  Grows small dark green leaves with green aromatic stalks.  Source:  KIT 

 Kentsai Dark Green celery Kentsai-Dark Green  celery  Photo courtesy Kitazawa Seed Co. 

CORN (su type)  45-75 days. A hybrid baby corn that is used in Chinese cuisine.  Each stalk of this variety grows 5’ tall and produces 4 mini cobs 2-4” long.  Fresh cobs are delicious in salads and are perfect for pickling or stir-fries.  Can be frozen too.  Source:  KIT 


Orient Express  64 days.  Asian type dark green cucumber.  Burpless, 12-14” long and 1 ½” in diameter.  Source:  BURP COO STO 

Suyo Long  61 days.  Traditional Chinese long fruited variety that grows up to 15” long and is ribbed.  Widely adapted.  Bitter free.  This cucumber needs to be trellised.  Source:  ANN BOT JOH 


Taiwan Sword Leaf (Pointed Leaf Lettuce) 85 days.  This variety is from Taiwan.  This Asian lettuce has long pointed bright green leaves.  You can harvest at an early stage when the leaves and stems are young and tasty.  This variety is used in Cantonese cuisine.  Source:  KIT 

MUSTARD (Mixes) 

Wild Garden Pungent Mix  30-40 days.  Mix of unusual spicy mustard greens.  Colors include gold, green, striped-red and solid purple.  Leaves can be smooth, glossy, or savoyed, while edges range from plain to toothed and frilly.  Flavors from sweet to pungent, even hot.  Source:  TER TERR 

MUSTARD (Broad leaved) 

Giant Red  40-50 days.  Vigorous growing mustard is cold tolerant and slow to bolt.  It has a mild mustard flavor.  This is an edible landscape favorite.  Harvest at any stage, micro greens to baby leaf for salads.  Source:  JOHN KIT STO 

 Giant Red mustard Giant Red broad leaved mustard     Photo courtesy Kitazawa Seed Co. 

MUSTARD (Oriental, Green stem) 

Tatsoi  20-25 days.  Forms a flat rosette close to the ground with tender dark green, spoon-shaped leaves and short light green stalks.  A vigorous grower it is cold tolerant and has mild mustard flavor.  Tatsoi is popular as a salad green.  Can be harvested at any stage.  Source:  BAK BOT JOHN KIT SOU STO TERR 

MUSTARD (Misome) 

Green Boy  30-50 days.  Popular traditional Japanese green has tender deep green leaves.  Sturdy stems and a mild flavor that tastes like a combination of spinach and Asian mustard.  Cold tolerant.  Source:  KIT 

Komatsuna  30-50 days.  Traditional Japanese green has tender deep green leaves and mild flavor that resembles spinach.  Quick growing, upright type plant.  Heat and cold tolerance.  Delicious eaten at any stage.  Rich in calcium.  Add to your salads.  Source:  BAK KIT 

MUSTARD (Mizuna) 

Mizuna Early (Kyona Kyoto)  40-50 days.  Japanese mustard has long slender stems and dark green leaves.  Both cold and heat tolerant and slow to bolt.  This is a cut-and-come-again variety.  Source:  JOH JOHN KIT SOU STO TER TERR 

MUSTARD (Chrysanthemum Greens) 

Komi Shungiku Salada  30-50 days.  The leaves are thin and finely serrated with an almost lace-like appearance.  The stem grow upright and the bright green leaves cascade from the top of the stalk.  Fast growing plant that produces many side shoots as it matures.  Mild chrysanthemum flavor and aroma.  Nice addition to salads.  Source:  KIT 

 Komi shungiku Salada mustard chrysanthemum Komi Shungiku Salada chrysantheumum greens    Photo courtesy Kitazawa Seed Co. 

MUSTARD (Baby Leaf) 

Crimson Red  20-45 days.  Red mustard green from Japan.  Harvest when young for salads.  Very dark red, attractive leaf shape and mildly spicy baby mustard.  Source:  JOH KIT 

 Crimson Red mustard Crimson Red baby leaf mustard     Photo courtesy Kitazawa Seed Co. 


He Shi Ho (Heskiko)  60-80 days.  Japanese heirloom perennial bunching onion.  Stalks grow and divide from the base.  Non-bulbing white type.  Mild flavor.  Source:  ANN BAK KIT TERR 

Red Beard (OP)  40-50 days.  Red stalks.  Mild flavored and tender leaves.  27” tall at maturity with the red stalks about 12” long.  Source:  KIT TER 

 Red Beard onions Red Beard onions     Photo courtesy Kitazawa Seed Co. 

PEAS (Oriental) 

Taichung II  60-70 days.  Chinese edible podded pea.  Well-branched compact plant.  3-4” long flat pods.  1-2 pods on each node.  Has pink flowers.  Source:  KIT 

RADISH (Sprouts and micros) 

All Purple  7-10 days.  Sprouting radish that yields a harvest of approximately 3-4” seedlings, which are uniform eggplant-purple color and becomes more intense in cooler weather.  Perfect for salads.  Source:  KIT 

Seed Sources 

ANN   Annie’s Heirloom Seeds 

BOT   Botanical Interests 

COO  The Cook’s Garden 

JOH   Johnny’s Selected Seeds 

JOHN   John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds 

KIT   Kitazawa Seed Co. 

SOU   Southern Exposure Seed Exchange 

STO   Stokes Seeds 

TER   Territorial Seed Company 

TERR   Terroir Seeds 

© Copyright by Karen Newcomb