Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Try Wasabi rocket - a rocket with a difference!
Image credit : Thompson & Morgan
A few years ago, I was given a packet of rocket 'Wasabi' to try when I visited the Thompson and Morgan show garden. Since then, I grow it every year.
Similar to traditional rocket with a hot peppery flavour, it also has the distinctive flavour of wasabi root. Every time, I have asked someone to close their eyes and taste this herb, not once has anyone ever never said "rocket". They usually describe it as being peppery or spicy and that it reminds them of something. It's only when I prompt them with 'wasabi?' or 'horseradish?' they say 'Yes, that's what it is!!!'
It is a bit like eating wasabi but in a salad leaf form. I think it goes perfectly with prawns in a leaf salad. Cooking it tends to weakens the wasabi and peppery flavours.
“Don't forget to protect rocket with mesh to protect against flea beetles.”
As with all rocket, if you decide to grow them in the summer, be mindful that they are a major attraction for flea beetles and before you know it, they will be completely covered with drill holes. The only way to get around this is to protect and cover your crops with a fine mesh.
The other issue with summer growing is that they tend to bolt and run to seed (meaning the end of your plants). You can still continue to pick the leaves - simply remove the flower shoots if they appear and the plants will keep producing new leaves.
In the autumn however, they fare much better. The flea beetles have all but disappeared and the leaves are left to grow in their full glory, leaving them to look much more appetizing. So, try sowing seeds mid to late summer or early autumn.
In small spaces, you can grow wasabi rocket in large pots or containers (I use Smithy tubs).
You can buy Wasabi Rocket seeds from Thompson & Morgan here.