Tag Archives: leeks

Japanese Vegetables 6: Leeks

negi-1

Leeks, or “negi/葱” in Japanese, are an almost universal vegetable.
It is used in cuisine at restaurants and homes on all continents and have been recognized for ages as very beneficial plant.

Recent research has demonstrated that they are an effective cure against colds in particular, not only for humans, but for many animals, too.
Some people do not appreciate them because of their pungent smell and taste, but this can be taken care of with a couple of simple steps.

Back home in France, we boil the central part of fat leeks and eat them under the name of “poor man’s asparaguses”!

FACTS:
-Season: leeks can be bought all year round, but the best season is from November to February in the Northern Hemisphere.

-Analytic data (as per 100g):

Energy: 28 kcal
Water: 91.7 g
Carbohydrates: 7.2 g

Inorganic qualities:
Potassium: 180 mg
Calcium: 31 mg
Manganese: 0.10 mg
Phosphorus: 26 mg
Iron: 0.2 mg
Zinc: 0.3 mg

Vitamins:
B1: 0.04 mg
B2: 0.04 mg
B6: 0.11 mg
C: 11 mg
Folic acid: 56 microg.

Dietary fibers: 2.2 g

TIPS:
-Fatter specimens will have more taste.
-Choose specimens with a “wet” bottom cut.
-If you use large specimens raw in salads, first cut 5~8 cm long sections, then cut them thin lengthwise and leave them some time in clean cold water. The pungency will greatly diminish.
-To chop leeks for cooking, cut them first in 5~10 cm sections, then cut them thin lengthwise, and only then, chop them crosswise.

HEALTH FACTS:

-Combined with Judas’ Ear Mushrooms, or sardine, or mackerel, or seaweed, holps lower blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, and prevents blood vessels hardening.

-Combined with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, or Japanese sake, or ginger, or shiso/perilla, helps prevent and cure colds, combats ageing and helps recovery from diseases.

-Combined with onion, or cucumber, or garlic, or Judas’ Ear mushrooms, helps blood flow and combats blood clotting.

-Combined with seaweed/wakame, or sweet potato, or lotus root, helps combat constipation and obesity.

VARIETIES:
There are innemurable varieties in the World, but I will introduce here the main varieties encountered in Japan:

negi-senju
“Senju”
The most common and popular variety. Also called “Nefukanegi”

negi-hakata-manno-negi
“Hakata Manno”:
A choice specimen raised in Kyushu Island

negi-hime
“Me” or “Hime”:
Could be called leek sprouts,too.
Eaten raw in salads, sushi, finger foods.

negi-ito-negi
“Ito” or Thread Leek, used in the same way as “Me/Hime”.

negi-kositsu-negi
“Koshizu”, another common and popular variety.

negi-kujo-futo-negi
“Kujo-Futo”:
A choice specimen originting from Kyoto.

negi-kujo-hoso1
“Kujo Hoso”. Same as above, but a lot thinner.

negi-riiki
“Riiki”
A short fat specimen popular for “nabe” and soups.

negi-shimonita-negi
“Shimonita”.
A fat variety with a short stem and long leaves. Popular with soups and “nabe” (Japanese-style pot-au-feu)


“Sakutonosama Negi”
A variety of the above. Turne sweet upon beig cooked.

“Aka Negi”
Red Leeks in Japanese, soft with little pungency. Considered as a delicacy.


“Wakegi”
Spring onion, a cross between onion and leek. Very popular in salad and as sesaoning.


“Asatsuki”
Chives


“Miyanegi”
From Tochigi Prefecture. Fat and short, their scent and taste are different. Turn sweet with frost.


“Sendai magari Negi”
From Miyagi Prefecture. These leeks bend naturally as they grow!


“Kannon Negi”
From Hiroshima City.


‘Hirokko”
From Yamagata and Akita Prefectures. Very popular cooked with eggs or meat.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Stick Ginger at Hatada Garden

Toshikatsu Hatada/畑田敏克, the 7th generation of the Hatada Family!

With Chiba and Inbaraki Prefectures, stick ginger (or leaf ginger/ha shyouga/葉生姜 in Japanese) is a specialty of Shizuoka Prefecture, and the best are said to be cultivated in Kunou/久能, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City near the sea where the sandy soil is most propitious!

Yesterday morning I found the whole family and their employees hard at work cleaning, sorting, cutting and packaging the leaf ginger harvested that morning.
Father, Mother, son and 4 staff, including a full time are not too many to harvest the vegetable grown on 1,500 tsubo/4,000 square meters in greenhouses.

Toshikatsu’s fater hard at work!
Toshikatsu’s grandfather first grew leaf ginger 34 years ago!

Ready for packaging. Beautiful, aren’t they?

For a closer look!

The root extremity will be snapped off (not cut!).

The snapped off extremities will not be thrown away. They are just too good! Their filaments and other unwanted parts can easily be pared off before the pieces of fresh ginger can be served in many ways, cooked or raw.
Toshikatsu recommend them fried rolled into tasty bacon!

Toshikatsu makes his own jam with the snapped off extremities of the fresh ginger and honey only. A true health food!

Or pickle them in amazu/sweet vinegar! I was offered that lot! a beauty!

The leaf ginger are carefully selected before delivery.

They usually harvest enough to prepare 100 boxes daily, but they have been asked to limit their delivery to forty daily boxes by their Association due to the recent earthquakes in north east Japan.

Half the boxes will be delivered immediately to Tokyo and the other half to various parts of Shizuoka Prefecture.

The inside of the leaf house greenhouses are hot!
I was advised to take off as many clothes as possible before entering.
40 degrees Celsius! No wonder!
The temperature is controlled by automatic ventilators, but Toshikatsu has to visit the greenhouses every morning and lift the second vinyl sheets where, if one is not careful, the temperature might go into the 70’s!

As for fertilizers, Toshikatsu uses only organic fertilizer, liquid or solid.
Pesticides will be spread at the the bare minimum only once a year.

The care for the health and quality of the vegetables will mean an unavoidable number of them rotting away that have to be taken out at once.

Toshikatsu does not market the rhyzomes (roots) that are found in markets all over the world, but use them for planting.

Choosing the right rhyzomes requires a lot of experience, good eyes, nose and ears (the snap sound is the best indictaion of their health!)!
The ryzhomes will be divided and planted from January to April to produce crops from March to July.
I can assure that the planting alone is back-breaking work!

Toshikatsu and his family grow “leafy” leeks between July and December inside the same greenhouses.
They also grow all year round tomatoes on 300 tsubo/1,000 square meters inside green huses, maily Momotaro and Chuudama varieties.
I certainly intend to come back soon to have a close look at those tomatoes!

Now, I took two batches of those freh leaf ginger with me to introduce them to restaurants of my own choosing. Two gastronomic articles are coming very soon!

Toshikatsu Hatada/畑田敏克
Hatada Garden/畑田農園
422-8015 Shizuoka Shi, Suruga Ku, Naka Hiramatsu, 212/静岡市駿河区中平松212
Tel/Fax: 054-238-3484
Mobile Phone: 09014137499
Corporate and individual orders accepted!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Vegetables facts & Tips 8: Leeks (Expanded and amended)

negi-1

Leeks, or “negi” in Japanese, are an almost universal vegetable.
It is used in cuisine at restaurants and homes on all continents and have been recognized for ages as very beneficial plant.

Recent research has demonstrated that They are an effective cure against colds in particular, not only for humans, but for many animals, too.
Some people do not appreciate them because of their pungent smell and taste, but this can be taken care of with a couple of simple steps.

Back home in France, we boil the central part of fat leeks and eat them under the name of “poor man’s asparaguses”!

FACTS:
-Season: leeks can be bought all year round, but the best season is from November to February in the Northern Hemisphere.

-Main beneficial elements: Carotene (green part), Vitamin C (white part), Calcium, Vitamin B1 (beneficial for blood circulation), B2, B8, Potassium, Calcium (in big amounts!), Iron, Manganese, vegetal fibers.

TIPS:
-Fatter specimens will have more taste.
-Choose specimens with a “wet” bottom cut.
-If you use large specimens raw in salads, first cut 5~8 cm long sections, then cut them thin lengthwise and leave them some time in clean cold water. The pungency will greatly diminish.
-To chop leeks for cooking, cut them first in 5~10 cm sections, then cut them thin lengthwise, and only then, chop them crosswise.

VARIETIES:
There are innemurable varieties in the World, but I will introduce here the main varieties encountered in Japan:

negi-senju
“Senju”
The most common and popular variety

negi-hakata-manno-negi
“Hakata Manno”:
A choice specimen raised in Kyushu Island

negi-hime
“Me” or “Hime”:
Could be called leek sprouts,too.
Eaten raw in salads, sushi, finger foods.

negi-ito-negi
“Ito” or Thread Leek, used in the same way as “Me/Hime”.

negi-kositsu-negi
“Koshizu”, another common and popular variety.

negi-kujo-futo-negi
“Kujo-Futo”:
A choice specimen originting from Kyoto.

negi-kujo-hoso1
“Kujo Hoso”. Same as above, but a lot thinner.

negi-riiki
“Riiki”
A short fat specimen popular for “nabe” and soups.

negi-shimonita-negi
“Shimonita”.
A fat variety with a short stem and long leaves. Popular with soups and “nabe” (Japanese-style pot-au-feu)


“Aka Negi”
Red Leeks in Japanese, soft with little pungency. Considered as a delicacy.

HEALTH FACTS:

-Combined with Juda Ear Mushrooms, or sardine, or mackerel, or seaweed, heolps lower blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, and prevents blood vessels hardening.

-Combined with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, or Japanese sake, or ginger, or shiso/perilla, helps prevent and cure colds, combats ageing and helps recovery from diseases.

-Combined with onion, or cucumber, or garlic, or Judas’ Ear mushrooms, helps blood flow and combats blood clotting.

-Combined with seaweed/wakame, or sweet potato, or lotus root, helps combat constipation and obesity.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES
Not-Just-Recipes, Bengal cuisine, Cooking Vegetarian, Frank Fariello, Gluten-free Vegan Family, Meatless Mama, Warren Bobrow, Wheeling Gourmet, Le Petit Cuisinier, Vegan Epicurean, Miss V’s Vegan Cookbook, Comestiblog, To Cheese or not To Cheese, The Lacquer Spoon, Russell 3, Octopuspie, Bread + Butter, Pegasus Legend, Think Twice, The French Market Maven

Please check the new postings at:
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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Leeks Marinated with Ponzu & Mustard

LEEKS-PONZU

Sorry Holly , but I will have to take a (very small) break away from leeks after this article, otherwise Comestiblog will really think I’m leaking from everywhere!

This is a very easy recipe that you can use as an appetizer or on top of freshly steamed rice.
“Ponzu” is a kind of light Japanese sweet rice vinegar based dressing one can use instead of soy sauce with the immediate result of reducing salt intake.

Leeks Marinated with Ponzu & Mustard!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 persons

-Long leeks (Japanese style): 1
-Ponzu: 3 large tablespoons
-Mustard (containg seeds)/You can improvise here and introduce various kinds of mustards, such as cassis mustard and so on!

RECIPE:

-Cut the leek in 5~6 cm long pieces

-Fry the leeks in oil of your choice until they change colour a little.

-If you wish to eat it hot, season with mustard and ponzu, saute just a little and serve.

-If you wish to eat it cold, Mix with mustard and ponzu in a bowl, let cool and place in the fridge.

-One can improvise the amount of sauce to one’s liking.
I personally like it served as in above picture.

Simple and healthy!

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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Leeks & Shiitake Mushrooms

LEEKS-MUSHROOMS

Here is another posting for Holly who has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks. This mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks will also please vegans and vegetarians!

Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~3 people

-Shiitake Mushrooms: 6~8 fresh
-Leeks: 2~3 depending on their size. Choose them long and mostly white
-Sesame oil: to taste
-Salt & pepper: to taste
-Soy sauce: to taste

RECIPE:

-Chop the leeks fine and mix with sesame oil in a bowl

-Take the stems off the mushrooms. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt and pepper. Fill with plenty of chopped leeks.

-Bake in oven for 4~5 minutes until they acquire a pleasant colour.

-Season with soy sauce before serving.

NOTE:

You can easily bring variations with chili pepper, Thai sweet and hot sauce, and chopped herbs of any kind!
Eat as soon as out of the oven (with a beer?)

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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Leeks & Miso Savoury Sauce

LEEKS-MISO

Here is the next posting for Holly who has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks. This mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks will also please vegans and vegetarians!

This particular recipe can serve as an accompaniment for many things, especially rice!

Leeks & Miso Savoury Sauce!

INGREDIENTS: For one serving
-Leek/green outside layer is best: 2 or 3 layers/chopped very fine
-Garlic: 2 cloves/crushed and finely chopped
-Fresh ginger: same volume as garlic/grated
-Miso (of your choice. I like it fairly strong): 150 g
-Sugar: 2~3 large tablespoons
-Japanese sake (cooking sake is fine): 2 large tablespoons
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 large tablespoon
-Sesame oil: 1 large tablepoon

RECIPE:
-Heat sesame oil in frypan. Throw in chopped leeks, grated ginger and chopped garlic and sautee over a medium fire.

-Once the leeks are cooked soft, switch off fire. Add miso, sugar, Japanese sake and mirin and mix well.

-Put back onto fire. Taking care not to “boil” it, cook it for a while stirring regularly.

-Pour it inside a glas jar and securely close it. Can be kept safe for up to 2 months.

NOTE:
Choose your leeks as fresh as possible.
Check the sugar for taste.

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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Leeks & Tofu

LEEKS-TOFU

Since Holly has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks, I had a look in my Japanese recipe notes and came with a mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks that will also please vegans and vegetarians!

As it is also very easy tofu recipe, he “Tofu Tribe” (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer should be interested!

Leeks 6 Tofu!

INGREDIENTS: for one hungry person

-Tofu: 1 cho: 250 g
-Leek: 1 (choose it long and thin)
-Salt: a big pinch
-Sesame oil: 2 large tablespoons

RECIPE:

-Take as much water off the tofu as possible.
This can be done by envelopping it into a clean cloth and putting a weight on top.

-Chop the leeks very finely, as much a syo like (the more the better) and drop them into a bowl. Add the salt and sesame oil.
Mix well and delicately pour it on top of the tofu you will have place on a serving plate.
One may season it with a little chili pepper or black pepper.

Eat it with a spoon and have a beer with it!

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