Your Guide to Asian Produce

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Chinese Long Beans

Pencil-thin, 12-18 inches long with smooth pale to dark green skin. Slightly black-eyed-pea flavor. Available year-round.


Bottle-shaped, light green, averaging 15-17 inches long. Lemon-like taste. Available mid-spring to first frost

Chinese Cabbage

Leaves are crinkly and light green, similar in shape to romaine lettuce. Mild taste. Available mid-spring to first frost.

Mustard Greens

Choose greens that have firm, broad leaves without any discoloration. Avoid limp leaves. Strong mustard-like flavor. Available fresh December through March.

Lemon Grass

Long thick-stalked grass with leaves at the top and solid portion several inches long at the root. Has a lemony flavor with hint of ginger. Perennial, stalks harvested every 3 to 5 months.

Hairy Gourds

As the name implies, it is quite hairy and will need to be peeled before using. Has refreshing delicate flavor, similar to summer squash. Available mid-spring to first frost.


Pale mauve to deep purple. Chinese eggplant is thin skinned. Containing few if any seeds. Body long and slim. Mild and bland, may be slightly bitter. Available late spring to early fall.

Chinese Broccoli

Small stems and green flower buds and leaves. Cool season vegetable. Nutty flavor.


Choose firm smooth roots with dark green leafy tops. Available year-round. Has sweet crisp tangy flavor.

Bitter Melon

Top shaped with large square shoulders and warty skin. Slightly bitter taste. Seeds are not edible. Grows vigorously in warm climates

Bok Choy

Fast growing with tender green leaves and crispy green stalks. Found year-round. Easy to grow in home gardens. Raw leaves have slightly sharp tang tempered by cooking.

Asian Pumpkin

The globe-shaped fruit is smooth, dark green with pale green stripes and weighs about 3 pounds. Flesh is very sweet. Harvested during fall but usually available year-round.


Green leaf has dark green upright leaves. White leaf has light green leaves and stems. Red leaf has large green leaves with red stripes. Similar in taste to spinach. Grown during the summer months.