Haru no Nanakusa (Seven Herbs of Spring)/春の七草

Japanese Food

The following is mainly based on the description on page 33 of the book on edible wild herbs published by Shufu to Seikatsu Sha Co., Ltd.

1. Seri
Picking season: March to early summer
Uses: Wash well and add to salad; boil quickly and use as or in ohitashi, aemono, nabe, etc.

Warning: Don’t confuse seri with doku zeri (Cicuta virosa), which is poisonous.
The first three photos here show doku zeri, while the bottom two photos show seri. Doku zeri has a much longer stem, and has a big, hollow root (top right photo).

2. Nazuna (penpen gusa)
Picking season: November to next April and May
Pick young leaves.
Uses: Boil and soak in water and use as or in nibitashi*1, aemono, etc.
*1 Nibitashi refers to a dish in which the ingredients are simmered in dashi.
Ni (simmered) + Bitashi (< Hitashi (souced)).

3. Ogyo (hahako gusa)
Note (added on Jan. 9): This book calls this plant ogyo, but it is more commonly known as gogyo.
注(1月9日に追加): この本では、この植物を「オギョウ」と呼んでいますが、「ごぎょう」「ゴギョウ」のほうが一般的です。
Picking season: Fall to next May
Pick young leaves and stalks.
Uses: Boil and soak in water, drain, and use as or in ohitashi, tempura, or kusa dango*2.
*2 In days of old, kusa dango (and kusa mochi) were made with ogyo. Yomogi (mugwort) is now commonly used instead.

4. Hakobe
Picking season: March to May
Any time of the year in warm places.
Uses: Boil quickly and soak in water, and use as or in nibitashi or sunomono; chop (don’t boil) and add to soup.

5. Hotokenoza (kooni tabirako)
Picking season: Winter to spring
Pick leaves.
Uses: Boil and soak in water throughly, and use as or in ohitashi or itamemono (stir-fried dishes); add to soup; make tsukudani with it.

Note: Hotokenoza as in the seven herbs of spring refers to kooni tabirako, not henbit.
Two photos here clearly show the difference between hotokenoza (purple flowers on the left) and kooni tabirako (yellow flowers on the right).

6. Suzuna (kabu), turnip
Picking season: Not specified.
Uses of leaves are not mentioned.

7. Suzushiro (daikon)
Picking season: Not specified.
Uses: Add to soup; use in abura itame (stir-fries); and make ichiya zuke (quick (one-night) pickles).

(Japanese text omitted)/日本語は省略

Comments on Facebook