Monday, August 9, 2010

Japanese mustard spinach @ komatsuna 小松菜

Komatsuna is one of the cheapest all year round vegetables to buy in Japan when I was living in Niigata (新潟) apart from bean sprout (Malay-tauge, Japanese-moyashi). A poor student with a tight budget, every week I will grab a bundle of komatsuna from the shopping market rack to last me for a week. It usually cost about 100japanese yen a bunch (~RM3.20 at that time).

Komatsuna is more tolerant to cold than pak choi types, and can grow from cool-temperate regions that have temperatures down to- -10 degree celsius to subtropical climates.

I sowed komatsuna seed in middle of July. After more than 7days the seeds germinated. Picture taken on 19th July 2010.

KOMATSUNA (1) I find that when the weather gets colder (in winter), the seedling grow very slowly compared grown in autumn. Growth development of komatsuna about 3 weeks later. They look ready to be transplanted in their final position. Dilemma ~space.

komatsunaKomatsuna sowed in autumn and still growing nicely without any sign of bolting. Other asian leaf vegetables in our patch has already bolted producing many flowers like choi sum, pak choi, wong bok and chinese broccoli.  Komatsuna has proved that it is the most hardy vegetable in cold temperatures compared with pak choi types.

komatsuna Interestingly, I have less pests attack on komatsuna compared with its other brassica family. It seems caterpillars, snail or slug will dine on other brassicas leaves first, komatsuna will be the last resort to those pests.

The leaves, stalks and flowers are tasty, and are usually enjoyed in stir fries, but are also used in salads, added to soups, or pickled in salt. In eastern Japan, the leaves are added to ceremonial New Year rice cakes. The leaves are rich in minerals. Is only a relatively new sub-variety, and has been cultivated in Japan for only~100years.

Reference: Discovering vegetables herbs & spices by Susanna Lyle.


Malar said...

Komatsuna looks like sawi for me? Are they similar?
About the fence for monkey that ur mom built.... she cover the top too? or only the perimeter? i need to do something! having big headache with monkey!

Autumn Belle said...

I agree with Malar that it looks like sawi. Does it taste like sawi? It is great to have a vege that is not prone to pest attacks.

Thank you for being my follower. I have inserted your link on my sidebar for this week. Have a great week ahead!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Komatsuna looks like sayur pahit, available at TAMU, Sabah.... ~bangchik

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Komatsuna look more like sayur pahit than sawi except it has a more darker green colour.Taste between sawi and sayur pahit. I was searching for sayur pahit seeds because Mik my cousin has craving for sayur pahit. However Mik disagree with me that komatsuna is not like her favourite sayur pahit. I have to search for sayur pahit seed again.

M.Miles said...

How far apart do you grow Komatsuna ?
What are the soil & light requirements ?

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Soil requirement is the same as other brassicas~Pak choi or broccoli. They like sun but they can grow well in part shade as well. I grew them in a place where they only received about only 1~2hours sunlight,they grow but a bit slow must have patience if limited space. Space 30cm apart should be fine. It is to take care of them less pest attack!
Thanks for visiting our blog. Happy gardening in the weekend!