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40-60 Days to maturity. Brassica juncea. Gai Choi Mustard Seeds. Non-GMO, annual heirloom. Gai Choi is the most commonly grown variety of Chinese mustard. It’s used not only in Asian cuisines but also in many Italian dishes and cuisines in the United States, Europe, and internationally. Its flavor is of the traditional “mustard,” reminiscent of Wasabi mustard being hot! It is a loose “heading” type with broad green leaves and thick white stems. It grows very quickly and is well suited for growing in cooler climates, as an early spring crop, or for a fall harvest. Approx 9,500 seeds / oz.
Other Common Names:Chinese mustard, aba kola, cai xanh, gai choy, gat, ha karashina, kaai tsai, moster, mustasa, phakkaat khieo, rai, sawi, sawi hijau, sawi pahit, sawi sawi, sesawi, taai kaai tsai, ye yong jie cai
How to Grow Gai Choi Mustard
Gai Choi Mustard is a cool weather plant. Start Gai Choi Mustard seeds directly in your garden two weeks before the last frost, or start them indoors and transplant them a few weeks after sprouting. Plant about 6 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart. It’s good to plant one row at a time, followed by additional rows two weeks apart for a longer harvest. You can also plant late in the summer for a fall harvest.
Harvesting Gai Choi Mustard
The fully mature plant can be harvested around 8 weeks, sometimes a bit earlier or later depending on local conditions.The outer leaves can be cut starting at about 3 weeks when 6 inches tall. "Baby greens” will be less bitter, and may be better tasting. Full-sized plants are harvested by cutting at the base.
The mustard will bolt and flower when the temperature gets warm enough. It’s best to harvest the greens before this happens. Seeds can be harvested once flowers start to droop and turn brown. Cut them and keep in a container. Let them dry in the dark for a few weeks. Separate the seeds and save them for planting or eating.
Gai Choi Mustard is a delicious, though strong, traditional Asian side dish. It can be pickled, stir-fried, used in soups, or steamed. This is delicious with garlic and some sliced fresh ginger. The seeds can be dried and ground, then mixed with a liquid to make homemade condiment mustard! Cold water, vinegar, warm liquids, or even wine will make spicy mustard more mellow in flavor.
Tips From Our Gardeners
"I use companion plants in my own garden. Things like dill, chamomile, or lavender are a good choice to grow with Gai Choi Mustard since the strong scent repels some pests. On the other hand, don’t grow any vining plants like tomatoes, pole beans, or strawberries nearby. The small vines and sprouts of these plants will choke the mustard as it grows."
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