Top ten asian products to sell at a farmer's market

adrianag(AL z7)August 4, 2003

Somebody on another list I'm on was inquiring about what products to grow for Asian customers at a farmer's market. Among my suggestionsm based on what I see at our local Asian grocers are:

-Thai Basil



-Oriental eggplant

-Oriental cukes

-Yard long beans

-Bitter melons

-Tilapia fish

What would be on your list of wants if you could get it very, very fresh? What products aren't typically available at Asian grocers that customers would jump at if they were available?

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Yuki_Northern_NJ(6 NJ)

Depends on which Asian customers are target, and depends on season. Here in NJ, we have many populations of Chinese/Korean/Japanese and have a big supermarkets.

Nappa Cabbage(seems lots of non-fresh ones are out there)
Chinese Nira, it called as Garlic Chives or Chinese Leek?
Bunching Onion
Pak Choy
Edamame(not bag or packed ones)
Oriental Eggplant
Oriental Cukes
Oriental Pear
Tangerine Orange(only certain Asian markets have this, not the one you see in local markets)
I don't know about Tilapia fish though, Korean and Japanese probably jump on fresh Sardine, Mackerel, Squid, Codfish roes. For Chinese when season comes, definitely Shanghai Crabs.

Oh and cup noodles - cannot grow but don't forget this! LOL

    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 3:41PM
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Helen_vancouver(z8 BC)

Hmmm.. very, very fresh huh? I'd say

dragon eye
asian pear
durian (okay.. I'm one of the few that loves durian)
water chestnuts
napa cabbage
gai lan

    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 11:15PM
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Don't forget bamboo shoots!

Also, bird's eye chilies or any of the Thai chili varieties.


Possibly, water spinach / ong choy / kangkong / rau muong as well.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 1:17PM
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Kafeer lime leaves!! I'm about ready to grow a tree but if I don't have to....

    Bookmark   August 9, 2003 at 2:46AM
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Frieda__IL(Z 5 - IL)

I agree with the Kafeer lime leaves, water spinach, lychees, snow peas, sprouts...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2003 at 5:20PM
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Helen_vancouver(z8 BC)

What do you do with kafeer lime leaves?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2003 at 11:17AM
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Hi Helen! If you like Thai food then get your hands on some Kafeer lime leaves! Add them to soup stock to make Tom Yung Gung...(Hot and sour prawn soup!)It just adds an incredible flavour. It's used in many Thai recipes, but that's where my knowledge of it's usage ends. I'm sure you could use it for whatever you want.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 1:40AM
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leggo_my_eggo(LBC z10 Ca.)

I got a tree and kaffir lime leaves goes great with most spicy stir fried dishes.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 2:17PM
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Thanks for the link Supannee. I used to have my own Kafeer lime tree when I lived in Los Angeles but couldn't bring it over the border when I moved to BC (darn!). I would like to grow one here if I could just find one!

Another great item to offer is Lemon Grass, also used in Thai dishes. If I'm lucky I can sometimes find Baby Ginger which you can make japanese pickled ginger (Gari?). The skin has not yet toughened up and it's much more tender and less fiberous than the usual stuff you get at the market.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ginger

    Bookmark   August 14, 2003 at 12:16AM
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Hi Adriana,

Great question! I think it would have to be those which don't travel well from suppliers outside of town and are only good picked fresh that morning which is why they're not often seen even at farmer's markets.

Yu Choy

are a couple that come to mind at the moment...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2003 at 11:23AM
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hello Yuki

i am very intersted in edamame , and as you are a a japanese i assume you have more knowledge about edamame. I am very interested in planting them in here
if possible, can you please tell me what kind of edamame sells best in Japan
and do you also grow edamame?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2003 at 2:30AM
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Galangal root Thai call Kha is used alot in Thai and Lao food

    Bookmark   October 3, 2004 at 6:11PM
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eileen_nv(Z9 Homosassa)

Lotus root - fresh is best!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 4:42PM
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Shantihhh(9b CA)

Kaffir Lime/magroot is a wonderful fragrant leaf. It adds so much to all Thai dishes, but also a touch of fusion to such as crab cakes, hollandaise sauces, stocks (along with lemon grass), tomato sauces IE Green Zebra sauce/Green Mean Sauce that I make with kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, Thai green chiles, and Thai lemon basil..

I have 6 Kaffir Lime trees and one is VERY large. It wasn't watered and has lost so many leaves. What can I use a whole shopping bag full of leaves for? No I don't want to freeze them as I always have fresh.

The kaffir lime fruit is nice as well, sometimes I just grate the peel, other times I cut the fruit in half and toss into a curry.

Now as to Farmer's Markets: Here in the SF Bay Area we have many Hmong farmers who sell at the Farmer's Markets as well as to Asian Markets all over.

Lemon Grass is very common, along with Thai chiles, Thai Basil, but Bird chiles and the Lemon Basil (Mangluk or Holy Basil Bai Krapoa) are difficult to find. Fresh galangal is easy to find, but fresh Kra chai? Never seen it.

Another popular thing is the Curry Leaf IE Murieya Koenigii for South Indian cooking.

There are so many Asian eggplants, but the little pea sized ones are extremely rare.

Cha-am is another can't be found Thai ingredient.I could go on and on.

Yuzu fruit is impossible to find here. I hear Four Winds Nursery has trees now, I must get one.

Oh winged beans are actually around in some of the markets. One I love that is hard to find so I also grow them is the Purple Yardlong bean.
I'd love to find the wonderful smoked chiles that the Northern Thai Hilltribes do. I can only find it in the back of the Warrarot Market in Chiang Mai!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2004 at 5:40PM
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baby kailan
galanga (khaa, related to ginger)
chili peppers
kaffir limes (& leaves)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 1:48AM
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not sure how plentiful asian fruits are in your neighborhood, but try these:
rose apples
custard apples

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 3:23AM
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adrianag(AL z7)

I'd say you would need a 3-5 year lead time for most of these, but what a great list!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 5:26PM
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everettFL(8/ N. Fl.)

No one has mentioned shiitakes yet!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 11:31AM
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Another vote for water spinach.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 9:12PM
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Has anyone mentioned Sweet potato leaves? Pickled Hsueh-Li-Hong

This post was edited by JCTsai on Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 20:56

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 7:39PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I mostly shop Asian Markets for:

-- Fruits an veggies: Things that I cannot find in reg. supermarket or they are too expensive . My regulars are :Chinese parsley, eggplants, and 90% of everything mentioned here. Where else can you buy Jack fruit, Durian,galangal, Jap/chin. eggplants, shiso ???
However, I have never used Kafir lime leave. But I buy bay leaves.

-- Fish and sea foods: Almost every time I buy fresh fish, shrimps.Anchovy, Oyster,
-- Oriental spices:so many of them to mention: Soy sauce, Fish sauce,

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:30AM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

Assuming you are selling by the pound, some heavier items that will add up to $ are daikon radish, kabocha squash, and napa cabbage.

Things like Niira (garlic chives), Shiso (perilla), Myoga, Mitsuba, will sell well to Japanese customers.

Real wasabi is an expensive specialty item.

Edamame æÂÂè± literally means 'branch beans', the whole plant is harvested and sold with the green pods still hanging on the branch. Evergreen Seeds will have good edamame varieties.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:07PM
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