Monday, June 07, 2010

Taste the season: Japanese butterbur (FUKI)

 am not sure the proper English name but "Japanese butterbur" is what I got from the discionary. It's called Fuki in Japanese.

In my hometown Akita, Fuki is one of the seasonal vegetables that represent spring. When I find Fuki on the dinner table, I know the spring has come. 

This is the appetizer dish that my mother used to make a lot with Fuki in season. I really didn't care for it as a child but what kind of kids would like some green stems cooked with mushrooms and bean curd? Well, now I am glad that I have grown into an adult that can appreciate this wonderful seasonal dish.

This dish is great as is as an appetizer or side dish to add to a a main meal or a bento item, as it lasts long and tastes good when cold.
Local fresh Fuki 1~2 lb, as much as you like :-)
Dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in water overnight 8 ~ 10 or any fresh mushrooms
Fried Bean Curd (abura age) - pour hot water over and rince the curd briefly. Cut it into 2 inch squares.
Red chili pods 3 ~4
Dashi (or you can use the water used to soak shiitake mushrooms)

1. Peel strings off the fuki stems by hand
2. Boil water in a deep pot and cook fuki or about 30 minutes. You can see the color of the water turn brown while cooking.
3. Strain fuki and soak them in fresh cold water (you can store teh cooked fuki in water for at least several days in the fridge)
4. Slice soaked shiitake mushrooms, 1/4 inch thick
5. Cut Fuki into 1.5 inch long pieces
6. In a medium size pot, put in 1 tabelspoon of sesame oil and 1 tabelspoon of canola oil over medium-low heat. Add the red chili pods. Heat the chili until you begin to smell the heat from it.
7. Turn up the heat to High and add Fuki. Fry Fuki for about 5 minutes.
8. Add the mushrooms in. Add in dashi or shiitake water depp enough to cover the vegetables. Add 1/2 sake, 1 cup mirin and let alcohol evaporated.
9. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce and turn the heat down to medium.
10. Add the bean curd and cook until the liquid reduces down to about half an inch depth (for about 30 minutes)

Store the dish in the fridge and enjoy it with Beer, Sake or over warm steamd rice!

 On another note, I also talked about seasonal ingredients on the PCC podcast:

1 comment:

Delishhh said...

How much fun to find another Seattle food blogger. Nice blog and some great recipes. I will have to explore.