Why I love Wombok

I'm a huge fan of all the Asian greens, things like Pak Choy, Bok Choy and tatsoi. They're a tasty and versatile bunch in the kitchen and incredibly quick and easy to grow... pop in a few seeds and you've got a crop ready to harvest in as little as 6-8 weeks. But for me the pick of the Asian crops is the one they call Chinese cabbage or Wombok. You can use them in much the same way you would a traditional European cabbage - steamed or stir fried, tossed in to salads and even used it to make coleslaw (it's also the key ingredient in my favourite Korean dish 'Kimchi') - but I would sooner grow a wombok than a traditional cabbage any day. For one, they are quicker growing - a wombok takes less time to grow - you can harvest a full headed cabbage in 8-10 weeks rather than 12 -14 weeks. The wombok has a more upright habit so needs less space - I have found you can grow 2-4 womboks in the space usually occupied by one wide and expanding European cabbage. One little tip I can share with you, to encourage your wombok to form a nice tight 'head', tie it loosely with a piece of raffia or twine as it approaches a mature size as I have done in the featured photo. If you like cabbage, then have a go at growing Wombok... it's time to be planting it now. And if you like your Asian food with a little spice, then have a go at making you're own Kimchi, but be warned, it's highly addictive

First published: May 2011

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