Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thistle Roots

These are young thistle roots. Yes, we eat them around here. At this time of the year, we can buy them at farmer's market, or dig them on the beach. Can you imagine how we eat them?

Thanks for guessing, dear readers.
The answer is "TEMPURA!" Yes, we dip thistle roots in batter and deep-fry them. They are flavorful and pleasantly crunchy. :) Mmmmmm....
Sorry, I don't have a photo of deep-fried thistle roots at the moment. Maybe next time.

BTW, thistle is called "Azami" in Japanese.

(Added Feb.28, 2010)
Here's a photo of our Thistle root tempura.
Azami tempura

I know. Too much batter... :P


Nicole said...

Braised with dashi? How do they taste? I am guessing bitter (but then again, I am thinking of dandelions)

Fiona said...

Possibly as an addition to okayu? Or in miso soup?

Badcat said...

Pickled like daikon?

grub said...

boiled in a soup?
eat it raw?
in salads?

hrmm interesting vegetable, what do they taste like?

Olwen said...

In New Zealand a favourite vegetable in Maori cooking is Puha, which the Europeans call sour thistle. It's a sappy green. It's treated much like spinach/

Catherine said...

I have no idea! What are they called in Japanese?

Anonymous said...

hmm... as a simmered root/veg. side dish? :)


Grace said...

My daughter and I guess pickled? They are very pretty.

obachan said...

Good guess. Actually braising with dashi may turn out pretty good, too. Surprisingly, thistle root is not bitter.

Oh, adding to okayu must be good, too. I see no reason that it wouldn't work.

Mmmmm.... never thought about that.
When we eat thistle root, we usually cook it. It could be very strong if eaten raw... but I'm not sure because I have never tasted it raw myself.

Like I wrote above, I have never eaten it raw. Boiling should work, because other than tempura, we often blanch it and use it for shiraake (mashed tofu salad).

It's hard to explain the taste. Really.

Wow, so some people do eat thistle in New Zealand, too! I'm glad to hear that. :D Try tempura next time!

They are called azami. And Azami tempura is g-r-e-a-t! ;)

That's a good guess.
But tempura is much, much better. Trust me.

Mmmmm... the roots look pretty juicy and crispy in the photo, but actually much stringier. Maybe that's why we are taught to cook/boil them.

obachan said...

If anyone is interested in shiraae, click here.


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