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Saku Saku

Refreshing, crisp, and crunchy — a salad cabbage made for fresh eating.

Brassica oleracea var. capitata

Cabbage is a refreshing ingredient in Japanese cooking and often used to balance otherwise heavy dishes. Saku Saku is an onomatopoeia for the sound of chewing something crunchy. As its name suggests, this cabbage variety gives you a delightfully fresh crunch when biting into its snappy green leaves.

Cooking with Saku Saku

Saku Saku is wonderful when used fresh, and can be used in place of any other cabbage variety in salads and slaws. Fresh shredded Saku Saku makes a great addition to tacos, sandwiches and wraps for a bit of extra texture.

In Japan, it is common to find a mountain of julienned fresh cabbage on the plate of your deep fried favorites like tonkatsu, or Japanese pork cutlet. The light yet nutrient-dense cabbage helps to balance the flavors of fatty and meaty dishes in addition to the health benefits described above. Saku Saku can be lightly pickled or marinated to make Izakaya-style salted Saku Saku, a popular – and slightly addictive – pairing for a cold beverage.

The individual leaves can also be used as wrappers for steaming and blanching fish, meats, and dumplings.

Negi is used as an aromatic – perfect for sprinkling over udon, ramen and soba and garnishing. Use negi as you would scallions or green onions in omelets, sauces and sautés, and as a topping for pizzas, soups and salads.

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Growing Details

  • Suitable temperature for germination: 60-85℉
  • Suitable temperature for growing: 60-70℉
  • Soil pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Days to Maturity: 70 days from transplanting


  • Direct sowing: sow 1-2 seeds every 6", 1/4" deep.
  • Transplanting: sow 1-2 seeds per cell into a 72-cell tray. Sow 1/4-1/2" deep and cover gently. Ensure cells are filled to avoid air pockets.
  • Maintain soil moisture through germination, do not over-water.
  • Once germinated, avoid watering for 7-10 days to improve root growth and plant development. Then, water thoroughly to improve head size.
  • Thin to one seedling per cell once established.


  • Check for readiness 40–45 days after germination by gently pulling on the base of the stem to see if the soil block stays together.
  • Transplant to 12" spacing with 14-18" between rows.


  • Cultivate to prevent weed competition and use best management practices for pests.
  • Use of light row cover can prevent damage from flea beetles and other brassica pests.


  • Harvest at 12-14" in diameter, when heads are firm (approximately 65-75 days from transplant).
  • Cut the base of the stalk just above ground level.


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