Enoki mushrooms are thin and tall Asian mushrooms. I haven’t seen them in neighborhood American grocery stores or organic stores, but they are regular items in Asian grocery stores. They are sold around $1~$2 a package all year round. Enoki mushrooms have mild flavor, and has significant crunchy texture, which retains well even after stewed. […]
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Konnyaku, sometimes called konjac, is actually made from an ugly looking bulbs. The English name is yam cake, because the root vegetable belongs to yam family. It is not edible when it’s raw, but can be eaten after being processed. It has to be boiled, ground and put into a mold to take a shape. […]
Burdocks are called gobo in Japanese. It is a root vegetable widely eaten in Eastern Asian countries. But in the United States some people drink dried burdock root as herbal tea. Burdocks are believed to have properties to purify liver and blood. I heard that burdock tea is good to calm down eczema due to […]
Spring is bamboo shoot season. Even though many fruit and vegetables are grown in green houses or cultivated in the Southern Hemisphere to supply all year round demand, I still see fresh bamboo shoots only in spring. Asians including Japanese consider bamboo shoots as spring delight. In order to eat, the strong bitter taste must […]
Nagaimo belongs to the family of yam. But unlike other yams, nagaimo can be eaten raw. You don’t see it in regular American grocery stores, but it’s a pretty common root vegetable in Asian grocery stores. Whenever nagaimo is on sale, I buy extra and keep them for later use. It’s pretty easy to prepare […]
I am not certain how many Americans know about natto. My husband recognizes the smell, because I occasionally eat it, but he doesn’t want to know any further about it. Natto is softly boiled soy beans fermented with a certain type of bacteria which live in straws. It is delicious and almost always eaten with […]
I won’t forget when I saw this leafy and crunchy winter vegetable for the first time at Union Square Farmer’s Market in New York. Mizina is a Japanese vegetable, and I didn’t expect to see it in New York. But since then, I’ve seen mizuna from time to time, and learned that it was one […]
Soba noodles are made of mixture of buckwheat, flour, salt and water. Depending on the ratio of buckwheat and flour, they are referred as towari (buckwheat 100%) or nihachi (buck wheat 80% and flour 20%). According to Japanese wiki, buckwheat contents has to be at least 30% in order to be labeled as soba, and […]
Japanese sweet potato is different from American sweet potato or yam. Sometimes it’s called Asian sweet potatoes. The outer skin is dark pink, and inner flesh is yellow or cream color, and the water content is much lower and sweeter than orangey yam. They are still not commonly available in regular American grocery stores, but […]
Nori is a thin sheet of edible dried seaweed. The color is blackish green or blackish purple. It comes in a large sheet (little smaller than a letter size), half size or even smaller size or flakes. Sushi can be rolled inside of a nori sheet, and flake type can be sprinkled over chirashi-zushi or […]
Shishito peppers look like green chili peppers, but they are sweet peppers. I am so happy to receive those Japanese vegetables from the CSA. When I was a child, approximately 10% of shishito peppers were hot like green chili peppers. It seems that when stress hormones are stored in shishito peppers, due to weather or […]
Daikon is a long white root vegetable, which can be found all year around, but the primary season is winter. The vegetable is now available at regular American grocery stores. It has been used in all Asian cuisines, so that it may be found at Chinese, Korean or Indian markets. You can tell the freshness of […]
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Japanese Food Shopping Companion
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