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  • Jo Jo Yee

Grow Asian Vegetable: Chinese Celery 'Kin Tsai'

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

The easiest celery to grow.

Chinese celery 'Kin Tsai' is an easy to grow celery variety and a most useful green to have in the garden late autumn through to winter. In the UK, they grow well throughout the summer months as well.

They are not quite the same as regular celery - the flavour is much more intense and to me, I also taste strong parsley notes in there as well. The stalks are much thinner and they are not commonly eaten raw. The young stalks are tender and the best ones to pick for cooking as the larger ones tend to get a bit stringy.


The young stalks are tender and the best ones to pick for cooking as the larger ones tend to get a bit stringy.


Growing


Chinese celery are easily sown from seed which you can find at Chilterns Seeds or Nicky's nursery. They can be grown in containers (as shown above) or raised beds and the spacing is approximately 25cm between plants.


I sow seeds in the spring for a summer crop and then again, during the summer for my autumn/winter crop.


Early autumn, I plant out more celery seedlings into the raised bed. They grow perfectly well in the cooler weather but I also cover mine with a cloche so they are protected all through winter. In just a few weeks, you can be picking some young stalks. In the winter months, they are a welcome sight when all else is lean.


I didn't have any pests on mine, none seemed particularly attracted to it so they are quite low maintenance from that perspective.




Harvesting


I use a cut-and-come-again approach, picking stalks as I need them. The thin, young stalks are stir-fried with meat or chopped finely then added to fried rice/noodles instead of the usual spring onions or coriander. The leaves can be boiled to make broth and any excess stalks can by dehydrated to make stock later on.


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