Culture, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs (Yakumi), Japan, Japanese Authentics, Recipe, Sauce/Jam/Condiments, Sauce/Jam/Condiments/Pâté, Seaweed, Travel, Vegetables, Vegetarian (Shoujin)
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Seasonal Spring Food | 春の食材

On a cloudless sunny day………we decided to adventure north, about a two hour or so drive up north which will take you to Gunma prefecture – one of the leading producers and suppliers of vegetables in the country and Tokyo district.

Cherry blossoms have trailed north from Tokyo, to find residing here in Gunma in full blossom, starting to feather away with the strong gust of spring wind.

As we approach Golden Week which is one of the long holidays from April 29th to May 5th, temperature rises steadily to an early sign of summer.

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桜が散ると一気に新緑の季節に入ります。

今回の野菜の買い出しは関東の台所の群馬県の方に足を伸ばしてみました。北にちょっと上がるだけで桜前線の北上が見られます。ソメイヨシノは風にのって花吹雪。八重桜、おかめ桜、、まだまだ桜が満開で雲一つないこの日が爽やかな春晴れ?でした。

お買い物に向かう場所は道の駅・あぐりーむ昭和。

群馬県の旬の野菜が豊富にある場所でローカル的にでお気に入りの場所です。

 

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With the arrival of warm temperature come the wild vegetables – ‘sansai’ . The wild vegetables differ in various areas of Japan but the most common ones are found most any where in the countryside, namely the butterbur (fuki),  bracken (warabi) and bamboo shoots which I was find at a local farmers market (Agri-mu Showa)  in Gunma. Although the ‘white asparagus’ is not a wild vegetable, a tempting vegetable, seemingly Gunma produces some.

さて、旬の野菜で手に入れたのは野ぶき、ホワイトアスパラガス、摘みたてのワラビ、筍。

Butterbur (Fuki) – White Asparagus – Bracken (Warabi)

Bracken (Warabi) | わらび

Wild vegetables require pre-treating with ash or baking soda and soaking in water to remove harshness (astringency).  Here the bracken is washed well in cold water, sprinkled with a large tablespoons of ash and boiling water poured over the bracken. Set aside to cool off before use. This removes the harshness from the bracken and can be eaten fresh or cooked.

ワラビはどう食べるの?東京のスーパーでは摘みたてのワラビは見かける事の方が珍しいです。処理は至って簡単。灰をふりかけ熱湯を入れ、一晩アク抜きをすればそのままおしたし、サラダ、味噌汁の具、などなど使えます。田舎に住む妹によると冷凍もできるそうです。

山菜は往々にしてアク抜きの水で保存するほうが長持ちするそうです。

Butterbur (Fuki)| 野ふき

Butterbur is perhaps the most common and indeed the iconic spring vegetable in Japan. I was able to find a wild mountain butterbur (Wild Fuki) with a thin stem. Normally the stem of the butterbur is peeled but with a thin long stem, it makes it suitable for ‘Kyarabuki – soy sauce simmered wild butterbur’, which is a preserved food called tsukudani.

野フキは細くてきゃらぶきにむいています。茎の皮を剥く必要がないので、、やった!キャラブキ用にやや多めに購入しました。くきと葉っぱを分けて、塩水で2~3分サッと茹で一晩水にさらしてアク抜きをしてからキャラブキにしました。

きゃらぶきのレシピは各家庭でお好みの味があると思います。わたしはあまり砂糖を使わずに煮る方です。ここの信州ふーどレシピを参考にしましたのでご興味のある方はどうぞ

きゃらぶきのレシピ

  • ふき  1kg
  • 砂糖  300g強
  • しょうゆ  100cc
  • だしつゆ  50cc
  • みりん  75cc
  • 酒  75cc

Wild Butterbur simmered in soy sauce (Kyarabuki)

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Steamed White Asparagus with Nanohana (Rape Blossoms) Leaves

白アスパラはサッと蒸して自家製のマヨネーズで頂きました。

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Bamboo Shoots (soft tip) with seaweed (wakame) which we call it Wakatakeni

Recipe for Bamboo Shoots with seaweed | 若竹煮レシピ

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Bamboo Shoots (Takenoko) Mixed Rice | 筍ごはん

The hard part of the bamboo is used for my ‘Takenoko (Bamboo) Rice’.

Slice the hard bamboo into thin slices and pre-cook the bamboo with about 1 tablespoon of sake + mirin + soy sauce. Set is aside to cool and let the taste sink into the bamboo before combining it with rice, using a rice cooker. Dress it with sansho leaves.

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Strawberry Jam (Compote) | いちごコンポート

Strawberries were in season.

Only can I find strawberries cheap and abundant,  ‘the rejects’ which are my jam or compote ingredients. Not much of recipe for jam but

My basic Jam Recipe

Fruit + 30% of White Sugar or Brown Sugar + Stash of lemon juice

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