May 4, 2010

Sansai Day for My Family/我が家族にとっては山菜の日

Today, I was planning to have a slow evening. I had told my wife that I would buy some sashimi and beer. But, sometimes, you will never know what your child (or children) will do to you, especially if your child is a nature-loving, mushroom-loving, and sansai-loving son.
First, at around 3 o'clock, my son came home with this:

Udo (Aralia cordata). My son and I discussed what to do with them. Conclusions: Tempura for the leaves and kinpira for the stems.

This means that I had to give up my initial plan to have a slow evening.

Kinpira in the making:

Later seasoned with 40 ml soy sauce, 40 ml mirin, and 20 ml sake.
醤油40 ml、味醂40 ml、お酒20 mlで味付けしました。

He later came home with this:

Chickweed. He said he wanted to have it boiled and have it as ohitashi.

He also brought me this:

Young leaves of daylily. I know. He told me yesterday that he wanted to get some young leaves of daylily today. But I didn't expect that he would bring me other sansai.

Besides, my wife came home with this:

Leafy vegetable called "touna" (lit. winter green) here in the Uonuma district of Niigata. The photo shows only the half of what she got from her father.
I washed, drained, and boiled them all.

I stir-fried half the young leaves of daylily, together with some ham and eggs. I boiled the other half to have it as ohitashi.

Surprisingly, my son came home with yet another sansai:

Young shoots of three-leaf akebia, called "kinome" here in the Uonuma district. ("Kinome" usually means young leaves of sansho.) Kinome are usually boiled and eaten as ohitashi.

Leaves of udo, ready to be tempura'ed:

Boiled kinome, udo kinpira, and boiled touna:

The dipping sauce for tempura was a 4:1:1 mixture of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin, as usual.

I also made kakiage, with sakura ebi (dried small shrimp), onion, and carrot.

When making tempura, be sure to use hakuriki ko (low-gluten flour), like these:

And, use vegetable oil, like canola oil.

I also made sweet potato tempura.

I kept working in the kitchen from around 3:30 to almost 6:30! I will have sashimi and beer for supper tomorrow evening!


CFT said...

Nice to see your son has such a healthy interest in food. Like father like son!

Hiroyuki said...

Chee Fai: Thanks for your comment. The problem is that my son's interest in mushrooms, sansai, and others far exceeds mine!

Yangsze said...

That is so great that your son is interested in nature and can find his own food! I only wish my children had such an opportunity, but we live in a fairly urban area. He must have been very happy that you made such a wonderful dinner for him!

Hiroyuki said...

YSC: I don't know what to say... It's sometimes tough dealing with a boy so interested in mushrooms, sansai, insects, etc., etc.

Amatō said...

This is such a sweet story again...You whole family coming home with veggies they found...:-)
And you wanted just a peaceful day. :-)

Hiroyuki said...

Amato: It may be a sweet story to you, but not so sweet to me. Yesterday, my son and I did some vegetable gardening, which will be the next topic of my blog. Just when I thought, "Phew, I can't stand it!" (it was a hot day and I was tired), my son said, "Ah, it's fun!"

Unknown said...

yes we are also eating chickweed in the U.S we can use it similar to spinach. I have a recipe for chickweed and field garlic frittata with potatoes, eggs and cheese ( a kind of one-dish western brunch). see the video on

Hiroyuki said...

forum: Thanks for the link. I was unable to find the video you mentioned, but I did find this one:
eddy leroux at Daniel speaks about wild ingredients.
You are doing great work on your blog!

Japanese knotweed said...

Wow that looks yummy!

Theres so many recipes online to look at, one of my favourites is japanese knotweed crumble, ingredients needed below:

500g young knotweed shoots, including leafy “spears”, lower sections peeled, sliced into 8cm pieces
50ml water
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour, sifted
100g cold butter, cubed
125g brown sugar

It such a nice ingredient to work with, i think it needs to be made more aware to the public as eradicating this annoying weed just became easy!!

You can also make a simple stir fry using with sesame oil, sesame seed, soy sauce, hot sauce, and garlic, it’s tasty - try it

Thanks for the post, will be making this one soon :o)

Hiroyuki said...

Japanese knotweed: Thanks for your comment.

I hope I can try a jam recipe soon!

Japanese knotweed said...

No problem Hiroyuki. Do you think when you've made the jam recipe you could post on here about it?

I love reading success's with this ingredient as its so commonly scared of when eating.


Hiroyuki said...

Japanese knotweed: Of course, I will! The only problem is that we have to wait until the next season!