Get The Most Out of Your Asian Greens from Backyard Eats
Harvesting Asian Greens
When It’s Ready
- Bok Choy: Mature plants are 4-10″ tall. Leaves should be dark green and crisp. (May-early June)
- Other Asian Greens: Harvest baby greens when they are 4-5″ tall. Don’t remove by the root for an ongoing harvest. (May-early June)
When It’s Too Late
- When plants have gone to flower (aka bolted), which makes them bitter and unpalatable
- You can tell a bok choy is starting to bolt when it grows up taller more than out. Harvest ASAP if you see this.
- Bok choy bolts quickly when the weather is consistently warm
- Cut plant at its base just above the soil with a sharp knife
- Leave the “stump” in place
- To extend the harvest window for your bok choy, consider harvesting every-other plant as “baby” bok choy when they’re young, giving the remaining plants time and space to grow into “full-size” bok choy
Did You Know?
The process for harvesting some Asian Greens, such as Baby Leaf Red Mustard or Baby Leaf Tatsoi, is more similar to the process for harvesting baby greens than bok choy. Click below to learn more.
Growing Asian Greens
Growing baby greens involves planting fast-growing young vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, and harvesting them when they’re still small. One benefit of growing baby greens in a raised bed is improved drainage and warmer soil temperatures, allowing for earlier planting in the spring and a longer growing season in the fall. Baby greens can sprout within 7-14 days and typically reach maturity for harvest within 20-30 days.
Baby greens can be harvested multiple times throughout the growing season, making them a great option for those who want a continuous supply of fresh greens.
Varieties of Asian Greens:
Baby Leaf Red Mustard | Baby Leaf Tatsoi | Bok Choy
Storing Asian Greens
Post-Harvest Care: Cool and rinse immediately after harvest by dunking into cold water and drying in a salad spinner.
Fresh Storage: Place in airtight bags or containers and refrigerate. Don’t crush leaves, but it’s ok to compress gently to save on bag space. Lasts up to 1 month when stored fresh from the garden.
Long-Term Storage: N/A
Cooking With Asian Greens
- Fats: Canola or peanut oil (neutral), sesame oil, butter
- Salts: Soy sauce
- Acids: Rice wine or dry sherry
- Flavors: Garlic, ginger, chicken stock, red pepper flakes