April 28, 2017

Totachina (Uguisuna?) and Wakegi/とうたち菜(うぐいす菜?)と、わけぎ

The other day, my father collected some greens from one of his fields. He says that these greens, which grow in the spring from the nozawana stubs left in the field after the greens are cut off in the fall to make nozawana zuke (pickle), are called uguisu-na (lit. Japanese bush warbler + greens)
They may be so called in the area of Nagano prefecture where he was born, but I googled to find that they are usually called totachina. I also learned that the term uguisuna has several meanings, such as a traditional vegetable of Kyoto and the young, small greens of rape, komatsuna, or other plant (collected in the spring).
父が生まれた長野県の地域ではそう呼ぶのかも知れませんが、ググると、通常は「とうたち菜」ということが分かりました。 また、うぐいす菜には、京の伝統野菜や(春に採れる)アブラナや小松菜の若く小さい菜っ葉など、幾つか意味があることも分かりました。

I simply boiled them and served as ohitashi. My father said they were too tough for him to chew (I had no difficulty chewing them).

So, the next time, I put the totachina in miso soup
together with koya dofu (freeze dried tofu)

and dried enoki
After I put some miso, I finally added some dried wakame.

Here are the wakegi I picked up from the yard of the house.
Still very small.
As requested by my father, I chopped them and mixed with natto.
My father collected more totachina (or uguisuna according to my father) from the field.
This time, I served the upper part of the greens as ohitashi.
My father said he could chew them.

I stored the rest of the greens in the freezer for later use.


Yangsze said...

How nice to pick fresh green vegetables like this! I'm glad your family is enjoying them :)

Hiroyuki said...

Yangsze: Well, yes, but just imagine how I feel when I notice something placed on the kitchen counter and I have to deal with it in some way or other...

Amy said...

Hiroyuki, I bet it's the same way my mother feels when my father goes shopping at the supermarket without her knowing, but then he leaves her to deal with the groceries when he brings them home! :D

Fräulein Trude said...

White turnips (NavetsI seem to be related to the Japanese variety. They are sold with the greens. If one is lucky the greens are quite young and tender, stalks crunchy and not stringy. But I tried to cook some and they where hard to chew too. Not that good at all. Best thing to do with those kind of greens is to chop and simmer for a long time, afterwards mixed with mashed potato and chopped spring onion they taste quite nice.
Guess your father would like to eat young Swiss Chard leaves. Sometimes I let chard roots sit in their beds during winter. Comes spring there are a lot of young and leaves to harvest.

Hiroyuki said...

Amy: My father is like yours, but he usually lets us know before shopping. I give him a complete list of things I want him to buy and explain what NOT to buy. Yet, he often irritates me by buying things on impulse. I could almost say, "For crying out loud!"


Thank you for your suggestion. Mixed with mashed potato?! Quite a German approach, isn't it?

I'm quite interested in Swiss chard, but I can hardly see it sold at a supermarket here in Japan. Maybe I could persuade my father to grow some.