This week we harvested our first Tatsoi of the season. Tatsoi is used as a replacement for spinach in the raita sauce for this week’s Lebanese Skewer recipe. The leafy greens and stalk have a distinctive sweet flavor and a creamy texture.

Tatsoi is an Asian leafy green in the Brassica family. It is also known as Mustard Spinach. Tatsoi is native to China but its culinary roots are in Japan. It has now become popular in North American cuisine and is grown throughout the world.

Tatsoi is full of nutrients, including folate, vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium, and potassium. When comparing nutrition value by ounce, tt’s one of the world’s best sources of vitamin C. It’s leaves contains more than twice as much vitamin C than oranges. Tatsoi also has a high carotenoids content. Because carotenoids are fat-soluble, to reap the health benefits they need fat to be absorbed by your body. Tatsoi is one of the many leafy greens that has more calcium than milk. For example, “Fresh tatsoi leaves, for example, contain 210 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams, while an equal serving of milk provides just 113 milligrams” (Heal with Food).

Interested in growing Tatsoi? We have a few beds of Tatsoi growing at our hub farm, Terabithia. Tatsoi grows best in moderate climates. It needs full sun and good draining soil. It germinates quickly and seedlings develop so rapidly. It takes 45-50 days to harvest and can withstand temperatures down to -15 degrees F.  In the fall, an exposure to light frost can improve tatsoi’s flavor. It is a short grows like a flat round plate, the plant can grow over a foot in diameter.  Tatsoi can be harvested at almost any stage of its growth and is treated as a cut-and-come again leafy vegetable, allowing for multiple harvests on a single plant.

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