As a matter of fact, Chinese vegetables were a rare commodity in the U.S., just a few years ago. They were hard to find in grocery stores. And, the seeds for home gardens were even rarer. Chinese and other cultural foods have gained popularity. Grocery stores stock an ever-increasing variety to meet the rising demand. Also, home gardeners have responded. Even more gardeners now grow them in their gardens.
We tend to group all Asian vegetables into one category…… “Chinese”. In actuality, many originated in other parts of Asia, too. And they are popular around the continent.
Did You Know? Surprisingly, “Chinese” is not just one, common type of cuisine. Rather, it is comprised of many distinct types. This includes Cantonese, Mandarin, Shanghainese, and more. Although they are similar in many ways, they each have distinct styles, spices, and methods of cooking. And, American “Chinese” recipes are often far different from their Asian roots.
There is a wide variety of Chinese vegetables to choose from. They include:
Corn- cute, miniature corn ears found in many Chinese dishes.
Chinese Pea Pods- flat edible pea pods with tiny immature peas inside
Growing instructions vary, depending upon the type of vegetable you plant. Many varieties of Chinese vegetables are “baby” types. They are grown similar to their larger cousins. They have similar fertilizer needs, soil conditions, and insect and disease control. There are also differences in growing techniques. This is due to their smaller size. Make sure to read the special care instructions on the package when buying the seed.
A wide range of seed companies now includes Chinese varieties of vegetables in their seed offerings.