Easy Asian greens to grow and eat

Delicious Asian greens are common in markets all over Australia and, increasingly, local supermarkets. But did you know they’re equally at home in your own vegie patch? Here are some you might want to add to your backyard, writes Helen McKerral.

Homegrown Asian greens often look different to those you buy in the shops but, regardless of their appearance, they’re always tastier! Try these more unusual types in your garden:

Taiwan lettuce/celtuce (Lactuca sativa var. augustana)

Delicious, slightly bitter leaves ideal for stir fries; primarily grown for the stems. Grow like lettuce.

Chinese celery (Apium graveolens var. secalinum)  

Keep plants very well-watered. Use leaves and stems whenever you want a strong celery flavor in soups, stews and stir fries.

Chrysanthemum greens (Glebionis coronaria)

Slightly bitter herbal flavor; excellent steamed, blanched or deep fried in tempura batter.

Fava greens (Vicia faba)

Sweet, buttery texture great raw, steamed, in stir fries or slightly wilted and used like baby spinach. When fully grown plants produce broad beans.

Water spinach or kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica)  

Wonderful crunchy stems with a mild nutty flavor, fabulous when stir fried, steamed, or added to soups. Grows well in tropical regions of Australia as a pond or bog plant (but can also be weedy)– try them in large water bowls. 

Betel leaf (Piper sarmentosum)

An attractive perennial trailing climber for a warm, well-watered and partly shaded spot in tropical or subtropical gardens. 


To see what else is in the magazine visit: Organic Gardener Magazine Australia.


By: Helen McKerral

First published: May 2019

Related topics

Plants & Vegetables, All Gardens, Issue 110 - July/August 2019, Vegetables