TOKYO | WASHOKU @ LIVING renewal in progress !!!

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.
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.

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.



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.




  • 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)


Steamed White Asparagus with Nanohana (Rape Blossoms) Leaves



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

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


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.


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


Sign Up
A customizable subscription slide-in box to promote your newsletter
[mc4wp_form id="305"]
%d bloggers like this: