Chinese cabbage likes cooler weather. If you plant them at the wrong time or the weather unexpectedly becomes warm they start flowering instead of growing rounder. However, you don’t have to be too disappointed even if they have gone to flower because you can eat their flower buds and young leaves. You are not going to waste them.
Our Chinese cabbage sprouted out by self-seeding this spring. Since the recent weather has been hot, lots of them have already developed flower buds.
Flower buds from the brassica family of vegetables, including Chinese cabbage, are eaten in Japan. They are even a kind of gourmet ingredient.
When I find flower buds on the Chinese cabbage, I snap them like this to harvest.
It’s a bit of a delicacy to enjoy the flower buds as tempura in Japan when you can harvest a bunch of them, but we don’t have such a big amount of them. So we often eat them with the young leaves and stems.
The stems and young leaves are good for pickling, cooking in soup or stir-frying after chopping up.
We had them in the rice porridge this morning.
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