Asian Vegetables Grown in Ontario


Factsheet - ISSN 1198-712X   -   Copyright Queen's Printer for Ontario
Agdex#: 259
Publication Date: 08/98
Order#: 98-033
Last Reviewed: 08/98
History:
Written by: J. Chaput - Vegetable IPM Specialist/OMAF

Table of Contents

  1. Edible amaranth
  2. Bitter melon
  3. Edible burdock
  4. Chinese broccoli / kale
  5. Chinese chives
  6. Chinese okra
  7. Big leaf mustard
  8. Chinese squash
  9. Chrysanthemum greens
  10. Flat flowering Chinese leaf cabbage
  11. Flowering edible rape
  12. Flowering Chinese leaf cabbage
  13. Shanghai pak choy
  14. Fuzzy squash
  15. Malabar spinach
  16. Nappa cabbage / celery cabbage
  17. Potherb mustard
  18. Purple mint / beefsteak plant
  19. Asian radish
  20. Red and Green Mustards
  21. Snow peas / snow pea shoots
  22. Water spinach
  23. Thick petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage
  24. Thin petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage

Edible amaranth

Edible amaranth.

English: Edible amaranth

Latin: Amaranthus mangostanus A. gangeticus

Chinese:
Cantonese: Hinn choy
Mandarin: Xian cai

Japanese: Hi yu na

Vietnamese: Rau den do

Korean: Chambirum

Notes of Interest:

  • Used like spinach in salads or as a cooked vegetable.
  • Common crop production problems include tarnished plant bug, fungus stem and leaf blight and weed control.

Bitter melon

Bitter melon.

English: Bitter melon

Latin: Momordica charantia

Chinese:
Cantonese: Fu gua
Mandarin: Ku gua

Japanese: Nigauri

Vietnamese: Muop dang, kho qua

Korean: Ssunoi

Notes of Interest:

  • Used dried as an herbal medecine and fresh in cooked and stir-fried dishes. Do not eat seeds. Can also be pickled.
  • Common crop production problems include cucumber beetles and powdery mildew.

Edible burdock

Edible burdock.

English: Edible burdock

Latin: Arctium lappa

Chinese:
Cantonese: Ngao pong
Mandarin: Niu pang

Japanese: Gobo

Korean: Uang

Notes of Interest:

  • Usually cooked in small pieces or pickled.
  • Very distinctive flavour.
  • It also has medicinal uses.

Chinese broccoli / kale

Chinese broccoli/kale. Chinese broccoli/kale.

English: Chinese broccoli / kale

Latin: Brassica alboglabra

Chinese:
Cantonese: Gai lan
Mandarin: Jie lan

Japanese: Kailaan

Vietnamese: Cai ro

Notes of Interest:

  • Used in stir-fried and other cooked dishes.
  • Common crop production problems include cabbage maggot, flea beetles, downy mildew and nutrient deficiencies.

Chinese chives

Chinese chives.

English: Chinese chives

Latin: Allium tuberosum

Chinese:
Cantonese: Gow choy
Mandarin: Jiu cai

Japanese: Nira

Vietnamese: He

Korean: Buchu

Notes of Interest:

  • Leaves are used like traditional chives. Flowers are also edible and both have a garlic flavour. Also used in herbal medicines.
  • Common crop production problems include onion maggot, onion thrips and downy mildew.

Chinese okra

Chinese okra.

English: Chinese okra

Latin: Luffa acutangula, Luffa cylindrica

Chinese:
Cantonese: Si gua
Mandarin:

Japanese: Hechima

Vietnamese: Muop khia, muop huong

Notes of Interest:

  • Not a true okra. Belongs to the cucurbit family but has similar appearance to okra.
  • Edible when immature and can be used like zucchini in a range of fresh, cooked and pickled dishes.
  • Mature fruits can be used as a sponge.

Big leaf mustard

Big leaf mustard.

English: Big leaf mustard

Latin: Brassica juncea var. involutus, var. foliosa

Chinese:
Cantonese: Dai gai choy
Mandarin: Da jie cai

Japanese: Karashina

Vietnamese: Cai xanh

Korean: Gat

Notes of Interest:

  • See red and green mustards.

Chinese squash

Chinese squash.

English: Chinese squash

Latin: Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita maxima

Chinese:
Cantonese: Nam gua
Mandarin: Nan gua

Japanese: Kabocha

Vietnamese: Bi ro

Korean: Ho bak

Notes of Interest:

  • Used similarly to traditional squash.
  • Common crop production problems include squash vine borer, cucumber beetles, squash bugs and powdery mildew.

Chrysanthemum greens

Chrysanthemum greens.

English: Chrysanthemum greens

Latin: Chrysanthemum coronarium

Chinese:
Cantonese: Tong ho choy
Mandarin: Tong hao cai

Japanese: Shungiku

Vietnamese: Tan o, cai cui

Korean: Ssukgat

Notes of Interest:

  • Used as an herbal medicine and as a cooked vegetable combined with other vegetables and in various stir-fried dishes.
  • Flower petals can be eaten also, either dipped in Japanese saki or pickled.

Flat flowering Chinese leaf cabbage

Flat flowering Chinese leaf cabbage.

English: Flat flowering Chinese leaf cabbage

Latin: Brassica campestris Chinensis group var. utilis

Chinese:
Cantonese: Nai yow choy
Mandarin:

Notes of Interest:

  • Grows in rosette with crinkly green leaves.
  • May also be called baby choy sum.
  • Uses and crop production concerns similar to choy sum and yow choy.

Flowering edible rape

Flowering edible rape. Flowering edible rape.

English: Flowering edible rape

Latin: Brassica chinensis var. oleifera

Chinese:
Cantonese: Yow choy
Mandarin: You cai

Japanese: Aburana

Vietnamese: Cai ngot

Korean: Yuchaeip

Notes of Interest:

  • Uses the same as bok choy and choy sum.
  • Glossier green colour and more upright than choy sum.

Flowering Chinese leaf cabbage

Flowering Chinese leaf cabbage.

English: Flowering Chinese leaf cabbage

Latin: Brassica campestris Chinensis group var. utilis

Chinese:
Cantonese: Choy sum
Mandarin: Cai xin

Vietnamese: Cai ngot non

Notes of Interest:

  • Often referred to as "baby bok choy". Similar uses and production problems as bok choy.

Shanghai pak choy

Shanghai pak choy.

English: Shanghai pak choy

Latin: Brassica campestris Chinensis group var. utilis

Chinese:
Cantonese: Shanghai choy sum
Mandarin:

Japanese: Chingensai

Notes of Interest:

  • Olive green versions of bok choy, pak choy, or choy sum are referred to as "Shanghai" types by growers.

Fuzzy squash

Fuzzy squash.

English: Fuzzy squash

Latin: Benincasa hispida var. chieh-qua

Chinese:
Cantonese: Tsit gua
Mandarin: Mao gua, Jie gua

Japanese: Tohgan

Vietnamese: Bi chanh

Korean: Ho bak

Notes of Interest:

  • Called fuzzy squash when harvested immature but called winter melon if left to mature. Cooked in soups or pickled.
  • Common crop production problems are similar to other cucurbits grown in Ontario.

Malabar spinach

Malabar spinach.

English: Malabar spinach

Latin: Basella alba, B. rubra

Chinese:
Cantonese: Lo kwai
Mandarin: Zi luo kui, Lu luo kui

Japanese: Tsuru-murasaki

Vietnamese: Mong toi

Notes of Interest:

  • Used in fresh and cooked dishes similarly to traditional spinach. Red and green varieties exist. Mucilaginous quality makes it good as a thickener in soups and stews.
  • Common crop production problems include tarnished plant bug.

Nappa cabbage / celery cabbage

Nappa cabbage/celery cabbage.

English: Nappa cabbage / celery cabbage

Latin: Brassica campestris Pekinensis group var. cephalata

Chinese:
Cantonese: Siew choy, won bok
Mandarin: Da bai cai, Huan ya bai

Japanese: Hakusai

Vietnamese: Cai bac thao, cai dai

Korean: Baechu

Notes of Interest:

  • Oblong, headed type called "Nappa"; elongated, cylindrical types referred to as "Michihili" types. Used in salads, cole slaw, cooked and pickled dishes.
  • Common crop production problems include cabbage maggot, flea beetles, clubroot, slugs, diamondback moth larvae, Alternaria spot, downy mildew, soft rot, virus diseases and nutrient deficiencies.

Potherb mustard

Potherb mustard.

English: Potherb mustard

Latin: Brassica juncea var. japonica

Chinese:
Cantonese:
Mandarin: Shui cai

Japanese: Kyona, Mizuna

Notes of Interest:

  • Used in salads, soups, steamed and stir-fried dishes as well as in pickled preparations.
  • Common crop production problems include flea beetles and cabbage maggot.

Purple mint / beefsteak plant

Purple mint/beefsteak plant.

English: Purple mint / beefsteak plant

Latin: Perilla frutescens, P. crispa

Chinese:
Mandarin: Zi su

Japanese: Shiso

Vietnamese: Tia to

Korean: Dulketip

Notes of Interest:

  • Aromatic and distinctive herb used in salads and cooked dishes. Sprouts used as flavouring and as a garnish.

Asian radish

Asian radish.

English: Asian radish

Latin: Raphanus sativum

Chinese:
Cantonese: Lo bok
Mandarin: Luo bu

Japanese: Daikon

Vietnamese: Cu cai

Korean: Moo

Notes of Interest:

  • Many shapes, sizes and colours grown. Usually cooked or pickled (Japanese takuan, tsukemono and Korean kimchi) but can also be used in salads. Foliage also makes a good edible green and is used in soups.
  • Common crop production problems include cabbage maggot, flea beetles, virus diseases, soft rot and Alternaria spot.

Red and Green Mustards

Red and green mustards.

English: Red and green mustards

Latin: Brassica juncea var. rugosa, var. crispifolia

Chinese:
Cantonese: Gai choy
Mandarin: Jie cai

Japanese: Karashina

Vietnamese: Cai xanh

Korean: Gat

Notes of Interest:

  • Several varieties are found in this group. A wide range of uses in salads, boiled, steamed and stir-fried dishes. Can also be pickled.
  • Common crop production problems include flea beetles, cabbage maggot, clubroot, virus diseases and nutrient deficiencies.

Snow peas / snow pea shoots

Snow peas/snow pea shoots.

English: Snow peas / snow pea shoots

Latin: Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon

Chinese:
Cantonese: Ho lan dow (peas); Dow miu (shoots)
Mandarin: He lan do (peas); Dou miao (shoots)

Japanese: Saya endo, tohbyo

Vietnamese: Dau Hoa- lan

Korean: Wandokong (peas); Wandusaan (shoots)

Notes of Interest:

  • Used in a variety of stemaed and stir-fried dishes.
  • Common crop production problems include weed control and root rot.

Water spinach

Water spinach. Water spinach.

English: Water spinach

Latin: Ipomoea aquatica

Chinese:
Cantonese: Tung choy
Mandarin: Kongxin cai

Japanese: Kankon, Asagaona, Ensai

Vietnamese: Rau muong

Korean: Kongshimchae

Notes of Interest:

  • Hollow-stemmed green used in cooked and stir-fried dishes. Often grown in summer greenhouses and under floating row covers in the field.
  • Common crop production problems include tarnished plant bug, grasshoppers, thrips, spider mites, aphids, fungal leaf blight and edema.

Thick petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage

Thick petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage.

English: Thick petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage

Latin: Brassica campestris, Chinensis group var. communis

Chinese:
Cantonese: Bok choy
Mandarin: Bai cai

Japanese: Shakushina

Vietnamese: Cai thia, cai be trang

Korean: Bok choy

Notes of Interest:

  • Entire plant can be used in stir-fried, steamed dishes, soups and salads.
  • Common crop production problems include flea beetles, soft rot, downy mildew, white leaf spot, virus diseases and clubroot.

Thin petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage

Thin petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage.

English: Thin petiole white Chinese leaf cabbage

Latin: Brassica campestris, Chinensis group var. communis

Chinese:
Cantonese: Pak choy
Mandarin: Xiao bai cai

Japanese: Shakushina; Chingensai (if green-stemmed)

Vietnamese: Cai thia; cai trang con

Korean: Pak choy

Notes of Interest:

  • See bok choy.

Typical field view of yow choy, Shanghai choy sum and tung choy.

Typical field view of yow choy (middle), Shanghai choy sum (left) and tung choy (right, under cover).

Cool season types (Brassicas, radishes, peas) are grown in Ontario from mid-April until mid-October. Warm season types (Cucurbits, water spinach, amarinths) are grown from mid-May until mid-September outdoors.


For more information:
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E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca