Tag Archives: Soy Milk

Sansai/Mountain vegetable Recipe: Itadori/Japanese Knotweed

The Sansai/Mountain Vegetable season has started for good in Japan and might be around the corner in many parts of the world, but many people are still wondering how to prepare and eat them.

Here is a simple explanation of how the Japanese do it with some of them.
I’ll try to research for more in the near future.

ITADORI/JAPANESE KNOTWEED

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica, syn. Polygonum cuspidatum, Reynoutria japonica) is a large, herbaceous perennial plant, native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea. In North America and Europe the species is very successful and has been classified as invasive in several countries. About time to eat it, then!

Closely related species include giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis, syn. Polygonum sachalinense) and Russian vine (Fallopia baldschuanica, syn. Polygonum aubertii, Polygonum baldschuanicum).

Other English names for Japanese knotweed include fleeceflower, Himalayan fleece vine, monkeyweed, Huzhang (Chinese: 虎杖; pinyin: Hǔzhàng), Hancock’s curse, elephant ears, pea shooters, donkey rhubarb (although it is not a rhubarb), sally rhubarb, Japanese bamboo, American bamboo, and Mexican bamboo (though it is not a bamboo). There are also regional names, and it is sometimes confused with sorrel.

In Japanese, the name is itadori (虎杖, イタドリ).

Japanese knotweed flowers are valued by some beekeepers as an important source of nectar for honeybees, at a time of year when little else is flowering. Japanese knotweed yields a monofloral honey, usually called bamboo honey by northeastern U.S. beekeepers, like a mild-flavored version of buckwheat honey (a related plant also in the Polygonaceae).

The young stems are edible as a spring vegetable, with a flavor similar to mild rhubarb. In some locations, semi-cultivating Japanese knotweed for food has been used as a means of controlling knotweed populations that invade sensitive wetland areas and drive out the native vegetation.

RECIPE:

Peel the knotweed from the root (easier this way). Peel all the skin!

Boil the knotweed. If you have a lot of them, proceed in batches.

Once the knotweed colour has turned from deep green to “tea green”, the boiling should be enough. It would take up to 2 minutes for items of the thickness shown on the above picture.
Note that that if the deep-green colour hasn’t sufficiently gone, the knotweed will be acid in taste.

Now as soon as you attained the right colour, scoop knotweed out or over cooking will result in the plant breaking up. Very important!

Transfer immediately into chilled water. Leave it there for a whole night and you will be able to get rid of astrigency and unwanted matters.

Next morning drain, cleanse under cold running water and drain thoroughly.
It can be preserved inside the fridge for quite some time inside a tupperware box.
If you have a lot you can always make salty pickles of them.
If you do so, just put them inside a tightly closed tupperware box with a good measure of salt. Wash them with plenty of water before consuming them.

Freshly boiled, they can be eaten as they are with mayonnaise, or a simple dressing for vegans and vegetarians. A little chili pepper is fine, too!

Simple recipe 1:
Two large knotweed (boiled and prepared as above).
Japanese sake: 1/2 tablespoon
Water: 1/2 tablespoon
Mirin/sweet Japanese sake: 1 tablespoon
Men tsuyu/vegan dashi: 1/2 tablespoon
Gently simmer the whole together for a little while.
Try and serve together with other boiled vegetables!

Simple recipe 2:
Two large knotweed (boiled and prepared as above).
Aburaage (fried tofu sheet): 1/2
Cut the aburaage into fine strips and fry them quickly with knotweeed.
Add Mirin/sweet sake (1 tablespoon), men tsuyu or vegan dashi (a little less than a tablespoon) while frying. Finish with withsome sesame oil and eat at once!
Great with beer or sake!

Uropean/American style cuisine suggestion:

Itadori/Japanese knotweeed in tomato sauce!

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, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento

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

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Vegan Japanese Tofu Gratin

Gratin can become a problem for vegans as they usually involve the use of butter and milk.
Here is a simple recipe that will help you solve that problem:

Japanese Beans Gratin!

INGREDIENTS: For 1 person

-Tofu (kinudofu/Silk tofu) 1 block/300g
-Onion: 1
-Shiitake Mushrooms: 3
-Oil: 2 tablespoons
-Flour: 2 tablespoons
-Soy milk: 1 cup/200 cc/ml
-Miso: 1 tablespoon
-Salt & pepper: as appropriate

RECIPE:

-Cut/Dig out tofu block to a depth of 2 cm and leaving a 1 cm wide rim.

-In an oven dish cook the tofu block for 2 miutes 30 seconds in the microwave oven, take out and let rest for more than 3 hours.

-Chop the onion finely and cut the shiitake mushrooms in 5 millimeter/half a centimeter strips.

-Wrap the chopped onion in cellophane paper and cook in microwave oven for 1 minute.

-Pour some oil in a frying pan and sautee the onions. Once a nice smell cmes out the onions add the shiitake mushrooms and fry. Season with salt and pepper.

-Switch off the fire. Add the flour and mix well with a soft spatula.

-Add the soy milk and miso and mix. Switch on the fire and cook until the sauce has acquired a smooth texture. Switch off fire. (you may add the tofu dug out of the block!)

-Pour some oil in a clean frying pan and fry the tofu block on both sides until it attains a nice colour (see picture above).

-Serve the fried tofu on a dish and pour the onion-mushroom sauce on it!

NOTE:

-If you want to really look it like a gratin, you may grill the lot!

-Decorate with some leafy greens!

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, Bento Boutique, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento

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

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日本語のブログ
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