imafan26
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Komatsuna

I planted an Asian mesclun mix and the only survivor was this green plant that I thought was swiss chard and a red mustard looking cabbage. I finally did figure out it was komatsuna. I had heard about it but it was the first time I grew it. It got huge as big as my swiss chard. I even stressed it because I was too tired to water so it didn't get anything except rain for 4 days and it wilted. But, it was tough, it came back after it got water again. It was so big that it was time to eat it or get it out of the way. I thought it would be bitter, but I was pleasantly surprised by its mild taste. More like swiss chard without the dirt taste. I did not keep the stems they were a bit tough looking.

I blanched it and put it in my fried noodles.

What else can I do with it?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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digitS'
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Re: Komatsuna

"...like swiss chard without the dirt taste." :shock:

We all have our likes and dislikes, Imafan' :D .

I used komatsuna just as you did but it never got very big. It also went in stir-fries. I've grown it several times in early spring, it does really well! I'd say, better than bok choy, which it resembles. It begins to bolt after awhile, tho'.

Senposai has been a veggie I've grown in my never-ending quest for summer greens. Yes, I can grow Swiss chard for that but I don't like those heavy mid-ribs ;). Senposai is a cross between komatsuna and cabbage. It's similar to collards or the Portuguese kale I like so much.

I put that in bold because I'm imagining that your komatsuna in Hawaii is growing like collards and Portuguese kale. I don't know what people could suggest for collards.

Portuguese kale can be used for soup! I cut its big leaves very thin and sauté in a pan after cooking a little breakfast sausage. Chopped onions go in, too. Some precooked white beans and everything goes in with chicken broth, plenty of black pepper. That's my version of Portuguese kale soup :).

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Komatsuna

" I can grow Swiss chard for that but I don't like those heavy mid-ribs."

To each their own! I don't use the mid-ribs in salads/ raw, but I really like them cooked. Just strip the leaves off the ribs. Chop the ribs like celery and throw them in the pot first (I usually do stir fry). Once the rib pieces (and whatever other veggies you are doing) are tender, then throw the leaves on top to wilt.
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digitS'
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Re: Komatsuna

See, that would never work ..

. :D.

How about this? From Fedco or this, From Kitazawa

I haven't tried the Japanese chard but young beet greens (same family) are one of my very favorites! Last year, I grew White Beets - wonderful :).

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

imafan26
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Re: Komatsuna

I have grown Portuguese kale and Georgia collards too. I did not get much from the Portuguese kale, it was attacked by aphids and cabbage worms. The collards fared a little better but it had a stronger cabbage flavor.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pepperhead212
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Re: Komatsuna

Komatsuna and senposai (a komatsuna x cabbage hybrid) are two of my favorite greens, as well as most productive, as you can just keep cutting the outer stalks off, and they keep growing. There are many varieties of komatsuna, and some are more heat resistant, while some are better against the cold. Unfortunately, the best heat resistant variety that I found - kojisan - is gone from the market (Kitazawa has one called Summer Fest, which I'm going to try), while the most cold resistant (which bolts early, so I only grow this in fall) is just a generic komatsuna, that I get from Pinetree Gardens. The komatsuna and senposai are usually ready to harvest after just under 30 days, and keep going into the summer, sometimes into early August, which is unusual for most brassicas. The senposai eventually gets larger, and is stronger in flavor, but nothing like mustard greens.

I start all of my greens indoors, then transplant outside, and cover immediately, to protect from rabbits. I sprinkle some sluggo around, as those are the worst pest early, and some later in the season; a few things bit holes in them, as you can see, but not many.

2 senposai on the left, 3 komatsuna on the right:
Image

I do things with it that are done with kale (just cooked less time), like sautés and soups, and I have also sub'd it for chard, in some Mexican dishes, in which the chard was being used in place of Lamb's Quarters. The stems are too fibrous to use in anything, and too small to use in chunks, like with chard, so I just compost them. There really isn't much waste.
Dave

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