Friday, June 25, 2010

Food for thought

Japan, along with a plethora of weird seafood, has some pretty unusual veggies too. Here are three recipes with ingredients you've probably never heard of.
(To access the recipe just click on the pic!)

Goya Chanpuru

Goya, also known as a bitter melon although it's pretty much not like a melon at all, is an extremely bitter vegetable often eaten in the island of Okinawa. People eat it around these parts usually in eggs or some other capacity that can counteract some of the bitter flavor. It's said that the bitterness of goya helps us beat the summer heat, so chow down!

Kinpira Gobo

Gobo, also known as burdock root, is a woody vegetable that when prepared poorly tastes like what I imagine a twig would, but when prepared correctly is very tasty. They often julienne it and cover it with mayo for gobo salad in the school lunches. Kinpira refers to a style of Japanese cooking that just means simmered with soy sauce and sugar. With all this fiber, your insides will get cleaned out for sure. Thanks to the fabulous Lexi for this recipe! Renkon Okara

Renkon, or lotus root, is one of my favorite Japanese vegetables. It's like a crunchy potato shaped in a pretty design. Renkon is also often made into kinpira or salads, which shows off it's cute little shape, but I found a more unusual recipe for you all. Okara is actually kind of like the leftover curds from making tofu, but I've found soft tofu works just as well.

Hope these wet your appetite! Dig in!


  1. Fancy, fancy! Let's make the last one when you get home, along with some of those Cuban beans.