9 Asian Vegetables You Can Grow At Home To Cancel Grocery Shopping Forever
Despite the availability of online grocery shopping, queues are snaking at supermarkets in Singapore are getting longer due to social distancing and the lack of delivery slots online. And with the next day as uncertain as the next, it seems like we should take a leaf out of the books of doomsday preppers and grow our own crops at home. We are home all day, everyday as well, so why not?
This article will make sure that in no time, you will become... the
1. Spring Onion
If you are a true blue Asian, spring onions is the best friend to hot soupy food! Yes, I know some of you are shaking your heads but if you give it a chance, you will see that this little condiment opens up a world of flavour. And the last we checked, spring onions are out of stock in FairPrice Online so growing your own saves you $0.85 per 100g!
Pictured above: Bag of Pasar spring onion from FairPrice Online | Credit: FairPrice
How to grow: Submerge about 3-4cm of spring onion from roots up (use the top for your cooking!) in a glass bowl or vase and change out the water whenever it turns cloudy. They will grow full-sized in about 2 weeks!
Pictured above: Cut spring onion | Credit: Shockingly Delicious
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow spring onions.
2. Boy Choy
I'm sure all of you have heard of bok choy and had it at least once in your life. This is a popular Asian dinner staple and they are easy to cook - just stir-fry them in some oyster sauce and minced garlic (recipe here)! A bunch of organic baby bok choy costs $3.80 in supermarkets, so that's a lot you can save by growing these babies.
I'm really not surprised that they are out of stock as well as this vegetable is well-loved by the young and old.
How to grow: Chop of the hard base of each bok choy and place them in a small bowl of water. Once you see sprouting from the center of each base, you can re-pot them in a fresh pot of soil. Remember to water them frequently!
Pictured above: Bok choy regrowing | Credit: 17 Apart
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow bok choy.
There are so many things you can make from ginger, from chicken rice chili sauce to gingerbread cake with lemon icing. It is also a health supplement and is said to reduce the risk of diabetes, act as an anti-inflammatory, lose weight and more!
While it is not an expensive commodity, ginger is one of those things that I always seem to not have when I really need it. So growing them at home makes a lot of sense.
Pictured above: Bag of Pasar yellow ginger from FairPrice Online | Credit: FairPrice
How to grow: Place a fresh ginger root in soil. Transfer the pot of soil to a warm but dry area while keeping the soil moist at all times. The ginger root will start sprouting new ginger in a few weeks and harvesting can be done after a few months.
Pictured above: Harvested ginger | Credit: Gardening Channel
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow ginger.
Once you have mastered growing your own ginger, the next on the list is this amazing herb-plant called lemongrass. With these two power ingredients, you can make a pot of soothing fresh lemongrass and ginger drink to quench your thirst on a hot and humid day. It is also a common ingredient in Malay, Thai and other Asian cuisines.
Pictured above: Lemongrass from FairPrice Online | Credit: FairPrice
How to grow: Soak the roots of the lemongrass stalks in warm water. When the roots have grown to about 7-8cm, transfer them to a deep pot (ideally a tall standing pot as lemongrass grows big) with soil for them to fully develop.
Pictured above: Growing lemongrass indoors | Credit: School of Natural Health Sciences
Once fully grown, the pot of lemongrass makes for a nice home decor piece, bring a nice lemongrass fragrance into your home and also repels mosquitoes due to the presence of citronella within.
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow lemongrass.
5. King Oyster Mushroom
Honestly, growing mushrooms can be tricky and take a bit of luck, but it is an interesting process to be a part of as they are not the typically stem-and-root kind of plant. Instead, they are categorised as a fungi and propagate through spores. And if you miss the famous grilled king oyster mushrooms found in pasar malams, try growing your own.
Pictured above: Taiwanese grilled king oyster mushrooms | Credit: Seth Lui
Slather them with sauce, and sprinkle them with some chili and chicken powder for a savoury treat!
How to grow: Snip the stems of the mushrooms and split them into small pieces. Then place them in soil. Pray hard and some of the stem bits will probably grow into new mushroom pieces.
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow king oyster mushrooms.
While avocados are traditionally not an Asian food staple, this buttery fruit is gaining traction among the younger generation and has made its way into healthy dishes such as the Japanese maki and Hawaiian poke bowl, which is deeply influenced by the Japanese cuisine. In Singapore, avocados are pretty pricey and can be hard to find some times.
Pictured above: Lovacado avocado from FairPrice Online | Credit: FairPrice
How to grow: This will take some time to come to fruition, but if you have the time and patience, the fruits of your labour will be worth it (heh). Remove the pit from an avocado and clean it. Then stick three toothpicks on the top and sides to allow it to float half-submerged in a glass of water (see below example). Once the pit sprouts roots and a stem, transfer it into a pot of soil.
Pictured above: Avocado pit in the process of growing | Credit: Apartment Therapy
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow avocados.
They may not be that effective against vampires, but garlics come with a load of health benefits. They:
Contain high nutritional value with little calories
Combat sickness such as the common cold
Reduce high blood pressure
Improve cholesterol levels
Contains antioxidants to prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia
Detoxify heavy chemicals
And the list goes on.
So having them at home is a good choice, be it for cooking or consuming them in other ways.
Pictured above: Chef China garlic from FairPrice Online | Credit: FairPrice
How to grow: Place a clove in a small glass of water and wait for green shoots to sprout. At this point of time, you can slice the leaves and enjoy them as scallions. Transfer the cloves into a pot and cover it fully in soil. Water frequently.
Pictured above: Pots of growing garlic | Credit: Martha Stewart
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow garlic.
Leeks are high in fibre and is also a great addition to mala steamboats, shabu-shabu and chowders. For the girls, leeks also prevent uncomfortable pre-menstrual symptoms as well as maintain and regulate the monthly cycle.
How to grow: Remove the green leaves by slicing them and place the white base roots down in a bowl of water. The base will start sprouting new leaves to form a brand new leek.
Pictured above: How to grow leeks | Credit: Diet of Life
Read here for the full set of instructions on how to grow leeks.
Cabbage is grown the same way as bok choy, by cutting off the base and submerging it in water. Once you have grown your cabbage, check out this awesome recipe on on how to make mille-fuille nabe (thousand-leaves hotpot).
Pictured above: A simmering pot of cabbage and pork belly | Credit: Just One Cookbook
There you have it! Nine easy and fun way to grow your own vegetables, right at the comfort of your own home. Share with us if you manage to grow some of them!