Vietnamese Veggies and Herbs

tey157(8b)July 2, 2008

I was wanting to make a list of thing to add to my garden. Here are some photos of things I have already. If you have any photos of yours I would be happy to see them.

Lemon Grass

Taro

Leeks

Perilla

Thai Basil

Rau Ram (Vietnamese Corriander)

Vietnamese Pepper

Dean

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aulani

Wow, everything looks great! I'm interested in your taro. Did you buy the root in an Asian grocery store? We have an Asian grocery here and I shop there often. How long did the root take to grow? I'm definitely interested in the leaves because I'm from Hawaii and we use the leaves to wrap meat with. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 5:58PM
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tey157(8b)

aulani, Thanks! Yes, I got it an Asian Grocery store/ actually from my mother-in-law. It's now on it's second year. It get's the condensation runoff from the A/C. I'd be intrested in how you use the leaves. My wife uses the stems in soups. She chops them up and uses them as a veggie.

Dean

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 6:16PM
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aulani

Dean, Sorry to take so long to get back to you. Thanks for your answer about taro. I look forward to planting a few taro roots next spring. Good idea to keep it where it gets constant moisture. In Hawaii where I am from, taro grows in paddies, like rice. The root is mashed up and that is where we get the staple dish poi from. The stems and roots are used to wrap pieces of beef and pork in lau lau.

Here's how to make it.

Clean the taro leaves (pull the stalk out of the leaf and try to remove the central thick veins, then pinch off the tip of the leaf)
Cut up fatty beef and pork shoulder into 1 1/2 inch chunks.
Put a 12 inch square piece of foil (in Hawaii we use ti leaves, but I'm in Kansas now) on a cutting board.

Put down several taro leaves first, then on top of the taro leaves place several chunks of both beef and pork. Salt liberally with sea salt. Some friends of mine usually add a dash or two of liquid smoke. Roll the meat inside the taro leaves.

Roll the taro leaf packet up in the foil creating the outer packet. Pinch or roll to seal the edges.

Repeat steps until you have used up all of your ingredients.

Set up a big pot as a steamer with water at the bottom and a rack to keep the lau lau from the water. I use my canner and the bottle rack is perfect. I don't have a bamboo steamer but I'll bet that would work too.

Steam the lau lau over boiling water for at least 45 minutes. This dish is the number one favorite of Islanders. They even make them for fundraisers all over the islands. Good stuff. In the Islands, we also put in a piece of salted butterfish. Hope you get a chance to make it.

Aloha!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:52AM
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tey157(8b)

Sounds great, I'll have to try making it sometimes.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:45PM
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noodle1017(8)

I love the corriander. Have you ever made vietnamese chicken salad or jelly fish salad with the corriander. It's delicious and it's a great summer dish.

I'm trying to find the seeds so i can grow it. Worst case I might have to buy it at the asian market and plant it that way.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 3:32PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Questions:

Does Vietnames perila taste lik Korean perila (semame leaves)?

How doe Vietnames coriander taste like?

What Dean has shown as "peper" picture seems to be a basil variety with big leave. Probably it has more peppery taste.

I like to grow lemongrass. I bought som from Asian market, wrapped in clear wrap. They did not look frsh at all. But I am trying to root them in water. I wonder it thry will ever root as they wern't fresh to me.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 10:47PM
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ianna(Z5b)

dear cyrus

I believe you got the tip to grow lemon grass from me. Believe me, if you keep your lemongrass in water, roots will start showing soon enough and new leaves will grow from it's middle. Change the water often. Once the root starts showing, transplant to a soilless mix and allow to grow further. When large enough, set in the ground outside. I'm not sure where you are from but be careful because sun in north america is far more intense than the sun in equatorial Asia. You'll have good sized plant in no time.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 1:20PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Thank you ianna

I am following your advice.
I am in zone 7/8 in GA. I think the temperatures have not been quite high enough for lemon grass to root. It is getting warmer (low 60F- high 80F).
I Have rooted Chines parsley, Thai basil and mint successfully and have planted them in my garden.
AS long as my lemongrass cuttings do not rot, They should eventually root.

Cyrus

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 4:31AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

hi ianna

I finally got some lemon grass rooted.
I bought them from Asian maket. They are about 16 to 18 inches long. Now here is my question:
-- how much do I have to cut from tip when I am planting them? Also, can I plant 2 or 3 of them in a big pot?

I have tried lemon grass in my cooking. Its aroma is incredible. Its lemon taste is very gentle. not like lime or lemon.
I wonder if you can dry it to use in the winter months?
( I am in zone 7/8, therefore cannot have fresh lemon grass in winter).

Thanks again for introducing lemon grass an how to root and grow it to me.

cyrus

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 10:37PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Finally I got some store bought lemon grass rooted.
The first batch that I bought were not suitable becaus they did noy have root bulb, i.e. they had been cut above it.
The second batch(bought from another store) had bulbs/knockles and had already small roots growing inside the clear wrap.
Now I have planted 3 Of them in a big pot. 2 of those already have growth. I would think that in a couple of weeks their roots will grab the soil and then take off, as night lows are approachin mid 60s F.

I have also rooted and planted following:
--- Mint (to spread)
--- Thai basil, Just to make them seed so I can have my
.....own seeds.
----- Chinese Celery(or parsley). This one is primarily for
...... seed stock too.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 1:26AM
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ianna(Z5b)

sorry I'm late in responding. Been all over the web but forgot to check back here.

Looks like you're on your way to successfully rooting lemon grass. In Asia, where I came from, we often root plants and we normally would stick things in the ground and things grew. The humidity seems to protect the plants from the sun's strong rays which is why despite the heat, the plants do not burn... Unlike here in North America. Even when we complain of it's humidity, it's not even close to humidity in equatorial Asia.

When you get your lemongrass growing and it's now a large clump you can then subdivide them into more plants. They do not do well indoors and so best put under a greenhouse during winter to simply start new plants every season.

You can roast a chicken, taking fresh lemon grass stalks and stuffing the chicken with it. Marinate the chicken before hand with salt and weak vinegar, and garlic. Best if you can rotiseri it.

We always have semi dry stalks in our groceries up here and it's easily reconstituted although I much prefer them to be fresher.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 9:46PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Thanks ianna

I will try your lemon-grass-chicken recepie when my lemon grass plant has fresh stalk/leave.

I do not have greenhouse, but we have mild winters here in GA. ocasionally temperatures go below freezing. In other words, we do not get heavy frost and grounds, lakes, rivers do not freez.
After this introduction, my question is, after cuting back, can I burry my lemon grass somewhere in the groud and cover it with leaves(as insulation) and dig it up next spring, aftre frost?
I Have more stalks that are rooting now, beside the 3 that I have planted in a big pot. Where should I plant them?
I think that they will grow quite big so I cannot plant them in my herb garden.
cyrus

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 1:25AM
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tey157(8b)

I live here in Texas in zone 8b. We leave the Lemon Grass planted in the ground over winter here. Sometimes it looks a little rough because of the cold, but comes back very well in the spring. Although because of the set back of winter the stalks are not usally large enough to be edible until Summer. I'll fertilize and water them well to increase their growth rate.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:29AM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

Oh wow! I'm envious!

How did you start growing Rau Ram (Vietnamese Corriander), Perilla and Thai basil? I'd love to have these plants in my garden, but don't have any local home stores with these plants. Did you root them from cuttings, grow them from seeds? Many of these herbs are available in our asian grocery stores, but they don't come with roots intact. I'm wondering if they'll root from cuttings.

thanks,
lali

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:53PM
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tey157(8b)

Hello Lali,

The Rau Ram and Thai basil I got from a nursery. I covered the Rau Ram up with some compost and have yet to see it again. The Thai basil died over the winter, but it spread seeds and we now have some coming up in the grass that we dug out before I mowed. The Perilla roots very easily. Many years ago my wife just stuck some of them in the ground and kept them moist. Every since then we have the stuff growing wild. They throw out a lot of seeds in the Fall.

Yes I know about the Asian Markets. My wife is Asian and that's why we grow a good deal of this stuff.

Dean

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:47PM
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newgardener_tx(8)

Tey157,
You have beautiful plants. I love to eat taro. Where did you get the Vietnamese pepper plant or seeds? Is it a bell kind ot spicy one? It looks so healthy.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:02AM
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tey157(8b)

Hello,

Thanks for the compliment. The peppers were brought as seeds from Vietnam. My mother-in-law collected a lot of them and I grew them out. These are kind of small peppers shorter than a cayenne pepper, but about the same diameter. They are spicy/ hot, but not to hot.

I also grow some Indian peppers to that are suppose to be the hottest in the world (Scoville units). The name slips me at the moment and I don't feel like digging around for it at the moment. I like a little spicy every once in awhile, but I really just grow these peppers for others.

Regards

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 5:04PM
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newgardener_tx(8)

Tey157,
Thanks for the information. Now is there anyway I can trade some seeds with you for the vietamese and indian pepper? I have a lot of other asain vegitable seeds. Do you go to sunflowers?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 5:48PM
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tey157(8b)

Well if you want some seeds you'll have to wait. I don't have any seeds right now. Maybe later I will have some available. Try back later during the growing season.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 9:34PM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

tey157,

I just came from my MIL's house and found that she had taro growing in her garden for the longest time and I didn't even know about it. What do you do with the taro that you grow in your garden? Do you harvest the taro roots or do you use the leaves for cooking? Just curious what can be done with this plant. I'm sure my MIL will gladly give me a healthy clump if I ask her, but not sure what to do with it.

lali

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:36PM
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tey157(8b)

Hello Lali,

My wife usally cooks catfish soup with the stems. The leaves are not used. They just buy the roots at the market if they want to eat that part. I suppose the plant doesn't grow fast enough here to replenish the tubers fast enough.

I sure enjoy the soup though. Don't ask me the recipe though. Haha!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:44PM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

OMGosh! I make this catfish soup all the time (MIL's recipe) and didn't even know the veggie I was using all this time was taro stem (looks like this http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2199/1546721921_0f7c21d0d4_o.jpg right?). I always see it in the supermarket with a vietnamese name and never knew what it was. Thought it was some sort of super exotic veggie. MIL hasn't harvested much from her garden since it takes a lot of stems to feed a big family and it's easier to just buy it from the market.

Now that I know what it is and how to use it, I'm definitely going to ask her for a clump now! Thanks for the tip!

lali

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:59PM
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tey157(8b)

Hey Lali,

Yes, that looks like the one. I always just assumed it was Taro. I'm not sure what the Vietnamese name is.

I got it planted over by the AC condensation outlet drain from the AC. During the Summer when it's hot here in Texas it really loves all the extra moisture and can grow quite large. About a month ago I put some cow manure and organic fertilizer on it and it looks like it's starting to take off again.

All the Best,

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 1:44PM
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annarie

Help! I'm trying to find vietnamese cilantro plants in the Washington DC metro area. Can anyone help????
Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:50PM
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finecognac(7a)

Annarie,

You can buy cilantro seeds in Merrifield gardens and many other garden stores.

tey157,

The Taro stems are not to be eaten. They will itch your throat badly. What you wife used is the stem from different plants called Bac Ha.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 11:51AM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

finecognac,

This is the plant that's growing in my MIL's garden, is this Bac Ha or Taro? For as long as I remember, my MIL's been using this in her Vietnamese sour fish soup. Do you have any comparison pics?

thanks,
lali

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 3:36PM
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finecognac(7a)

Lali,

Mine are still too small to take pictures for comparison. But if she has been using it, then it must be bac ha. You will know if you eat Taro's stems.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 3:55PM
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