TOKYO | WASHOKU @ LIVING renewal in progress !!!

Butterbur Sprouts | 春の知らせ「フキノトウ」

This winter has been inordinately warm. Warm to a point, where snow resorts struggle to stay in business, winter heavy coats and clothings remain wrapped dry cleaned from previous year.

When one lives in a city (such as Tokyo as I do), the consequences of not having snow does not seem as critical, but only true the residents of snow lands seem to acknowledge the damage – especially to the natural seasonal vegetation, the butterbur sprout being one of them.

The butterbur sprout is one of the earliest wild herbs, peaking out of the soil yet cold but bringing early signs of spring. It is called ‘fuki (butterbur)’ in Japanese and it’s sprout has an unique and distinctive bitter flavor. Sautéd and blended with miso (which I personally love) serves as an accomplice to rice and quite delicious when deep fried as tempura.

今年の冬は暖かい冬でした。毎年、気象庁の発表を聞いてもあまり気に止めないようにしていますが今年はたしかに暖かったです。クリーニングを終えた冬服や厚手のコートやダウンも出番がなく、年明けにはドライクリーニグを終えた綺麗な冬服は顔をみせることもなくすでに3月。

気がつくと玄関先に植えている蕗は2月には早々と顔を出し、フキノトウの前にニョキニョキと薹が立ってしまい、花から枝と太陽を求めて上に上にと向かっています。今やすでに30センチばかり伸びていますがこの花はどうなるのか最後まで見届けようかとお思っています。

Fuki (Butterbur Sprouts) Miso | Butterbur sprouts chopped, first sautéd in a small amount of vegetable oil; secondly blended with a little bit of sake (or mirin) and miso. Taste adjusted to your choice, some prefer some sweetness depending on the selection of miso.

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