Eastern cuisines are tasty, full of flavor, and healthy. Even though they originated in various parts of Asia, they are now widespread throughout the world due to their popularity. If you want to bring the Asian, especially the Chinese taste to your home, growing some herbs at your place is the best way to go.
Before we dive deeper into which herbs you must plant and how you can do that, let’s have a brief look at what these herbs exactly are.
What are Chinese herbs?
Every civilization had its own set of unique ways to produce its delicious food. When we talk about China and other Asian countries, their unique method was to utilize ancient herbs and plants in their dishes.
These herbs were not only used in the production of healthy and delicious food but were also well-suited for creating medicines. Each Asian region took complete advantage of the locally available herbs in their foods and medicine. This phenomenon is reflected even today; modern cooks use their regional spices and herbs to take their cultural taste to the next level.
How do I grow Chinese herbs?
Most herbs originating from Asia are simple plants that are easy to plant. You won’t struggle much to plant a garden of them on your lawn. Most of them are natively from a warm environment, so they grow best in warm climates. However, you can also plant them in containers and they’ll adapt to their new environment.
The best way to plant such herbs is through seeds. Get a package of seeds of your desired herbs and plant them in small pots. You’d need to give them moisture and temperature. When the seeds start to grow and plants grow out of the soil, transfer them to your garden bed where they can thrive.
Make sure your pots, as well as your garden bed, are well-lit by natural sunlight. These herbs thrive on moisture, but too much of it could be dangerous for them. They can develop problems like fungus and rust if you water them overhead. Make sure you’re watering them just enough to not sink them.
You can also develop your own grow tent setup if you want to grow your cuisine herbs indoors. Such a system will provide suitable indoor conditions to your herbs so they can survive and grow.
If you have installed HVAC equipment in your house, research ways how to maintain the herbs’ growth while using air conditioning. Now as we’re done with the process of planting the herbs, let’s look at some common options you can plant with ease.
Scallions, a variety of onion that can reach up to 20 inches in height and is much sharper than the common yellow or white onions seen at most grocery stores. Scallion has been used as an herb for thousands of years by Asian folk medicine practitioners who believe it helps cure many ills from headaches to coughs. This plant flourishes best in warm climates such as Asia but has also grown outside its native region all over the world with ease due to climate change.
Basil is a culinary herb that has been used for centuries to add flavor and freshness in cooking. There are many varieties of basil, as well as several related species or hybrids also called Basil. This versatile plant can be found all over the world from Asia to Africa and it's even grown domestically on our own kitchen windowsills!
If you have ever grown cilantro, you might have also encountered coriander seeds. That’s because it’s the fruit or seed obtained from the cilantro plant. Coriander seeds are a great seasoning all across Asia. The best time to obtain it from the cilantro plant is during the hottest season of the year.
Ginger is a spice commonly used in cooking that has been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent nasal congestion. It also happens to be an important herb for many different cultures, from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where it's often recommended as herbal tea after meals or when feeling nauseous during pregnancy, to the Caribbean culture who use ginger root extract in some of their most popular dishes like Ginger Beer.
In China, the goji berry or wolfberry has long been used in traditional Chinese cuisine as a remedy for everything from fatigue to cancer. This small red fruit is full of nutrition and antioxidants such that it may be one of our best tools against aging! Goji berries originated from Asia but now grow all over Europe as well due to climate change allowing these exotic fruits to thrive there.
The chili pepper may be best associated with Thai, Chinese and Indian cuisine but it is actually a native to central Mexico. The spiciness of this spicy member of the pepper family has helped make food more appetizing worldwide.
Many people love Chinese cuisines made out of fresh herbs, and why wouldn’t they? They are filled with flavor and aroma. After reading this article, you now know the basics of Chinese herbs; what are they; how to grow them; and which ones should be included in your first batch.