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Sweet Kabu

Sweet Kabu is a fast-growing salad turnip, recommended for raw eating.

Brassica rapa

Kabu, which translates to “turnips”, come in many different colors and shapes around the world; the silky, white turnip is the most popular type in Japan. It is an essential ingredient in the traditional porridge eaten on January 7 which marks the end of the New Year celebration period. Its other name, Suzuna, which combines the words for “bell” (suzu) and “green” or “leaf” (na), has the sacred meaning of a bell that calls the gods. This white turnip variety is different from other turnips offering juicier, more fruit-like flesh and mild sweetness in raw form.

Cooking with Sweet Kabu

Sweet Kabu is best enjoyed raw or pickled and can be used in recipes calling for any type of turnip. Boasting a mild spicy-sweet flavor, Sweet Kabu can be sliced into one-eighth inch discs and served with fresh fruit or tossed onto salads, topped with lemon, oil, salt and pepper, or eaten bite-by-bite as you would a stone fruit.
This sweet root vegetable can be sliced and sauteed with a touch of soy sauce, or added to soups or stews to enhance their sweetness. Grilled Kabu produces a brown and crunchy surface combined with a juicy, almost-creamy interior for a palate-pleasing experience.
The leafy greens of Sweet Kabu are tender, sweet and earthy and are often served lightly blanched with a pinch of salt for a light and refreshing side dish, or as a pleasant addition to any salad.

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Growing Details


  • Direct seeding highly recommended.
  • Sow 1–2 seeds every 2” very shallow, 1/4” deep or less.
  • Over-watering can create a crust-like soil layer, preventing germination. Maintain soil moisture through germination.
  • Do not thin. 


  • Once first true leaves have formed, water 2–3 days per week to promote root growth and foliage elongation.
  • Cultivate planting beds to prevent weed competition and use best management practices for pests.
  • Use of light row cover can prevent foliage damage from flea beetles and other brassica pests. 


  • Approximately 35-45 days from sowing, depending on temperatures.
  • Harvest at approximately 2” in diameter. The root should be visible above the soil surface to evaluate size.
  • Gently pull plants from the base of the stems to harvest. 


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