Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Seattle >
May 22, 2010 09:41 AM

Asian herb plants

Does anyone know where I can buy Asian/Vietnamese herb plants like: VIetnamese coriander, Thai basil, ngo gai (a type of VIetnamese cilantro), purple shiso.
I have found shiso and Thai basil at farmers market but the smells and tastes are not as stong as the real asian herbs.
I have grown them from seeds but have been disappointed.
Many thanks,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. we bought rau ram at City Peoples. we have always been happy with Thai basil from there or from Magnolia.

    1. Plenty availible at Viet Wah, Hau Hau Market, An Dong, Uwajimaya, H Mart, Ranch 99, etc

      600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

      H Mart
      3301 184th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98037

      1 Reply
      1. re: clearskies0810

        clearskies0810 - I am looking for live plants, not cut herbs. VIet Wah, An Dong, Uwa have cut ones. I shop there every other week or so and to my recollection no live plants.
        Cocktailhour - Thanks for the tip on City People.

      2. These herbs come from hot and sunny places, which Seattle is not. Maybe a Master Gardener can advise about how you can compensate and grow full-flavored herbs.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mrnelso

          mrnelso - As I mentioned I have grown the herbs from seeds before. The real challenge is to find the authentic seeds or seedlings for fuller flavor. For example the cilantro found at your typical western markets does not have the same intensity of aroma and flavor as when from the asian markets.
          I have taken cuttings from rau ram, bought in the ID, and was successful in propagation so that I even gave some plants to one of the farmers at the U-District Farmer's Market.
          Growing shiso from seeds is problematic since they are only reliable for six months from harvesting, even the seeds from Johnny's or Seeds of Change, again less flavorful.
          The short duration of hot weather is not really a problem since most of the herbs prefer cooler temperature to slow down the bolting process anyway.

          1. re: tedfood

            Thank you.
            I hope you will share your progress and success with us.

            1. re: mrnelso

              Here is an update on the topic. I have been asking the shopkeepers in the ID about where to get live herb plants and no luck at all. They all say that you have to go to the San Jose area or Orange County to buy them and bring them back.
              So I am back to rooting cuttings and planting them.