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Korean Vegetable/Herb

  • Subject: [cg] Korean Vegetable/Herb
  • From: "Sharon Gordon" <gordonse@one.net>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 15:01:28 -0400

Some of the Korean gardeners at one of our garden sites grow a plant that
seems to used as both a green and an herb.  Unfortuantely I only know one
Korean word, and none of the Korean gardeners speak more than a few words of
English.  So I'd like to describe it and see if anyone knows a latin or
English name for it.

They call it ssook with the oo sounding like the u in Sue or cute. And there
may be some tonal change in there among the oo's that I couldn't quite
The plants are shin to knee high and have leaves about an inch in diameter.
The shape of the leaf reminds me most of a chrysanthemum or some grape
leaves, or a maple leaf with shorter points/more rounded shape. It is not
the edible chrysanthemum which they also grow.  It's growth habit is similar
to mint, though the stem is not square like mint.  They harvest it by
picking individual leaves similar to the way a person might pick off
individual basil or bergarten sage leaves.  One woman was able to convey to
me that she cooks it by steaming it with rice.  She also referred to the
plant as "nature's medicine."  Some of the people like it so much that they
have gotten a number of the non-Korean gardeners to let them weed it out of
their (other people's) plots when the non-Korean gardeners, not knowing what
it is, or plagued by it's mint-kudzu properties would have just composted it
all.  It's an early green in the spring (though I haven't noticed it as much
as the ground ivy in the early spring, so I think it might green up shortly
after it) and it lasts through the whole garden season, even now putting out
young leaves.


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