I’ve got two deliveries from Sho Farm on January. (日本語は下の方にスクロール）
January and February are the coldest months in Japan and these were the selections:
- Daikon Radish 大根
- Itsuki Red Daikon五木赤大根
- Spring Onion長ネギ
- Dried Daikon切り干し大根
- Komatsuna or Japanese spinach小松菜
- Chinese cabbage白菜
The only dark green leafy thing I got this month was Komatsuna and spinach so therefore all the leafs on turnip and daikon are a valuable greens which we can intake.
Daikon leafs are more tougher and bitter during this cold months, so I always boil them and dress them with olive oil asap and eat them on that day. I chop them in miso soups too. Once the leafs are cooked, it’s better to eat them up all that day because it get bitter and lets out a strong odor that some may don’t like. I do the same treatment for the turnip leafs (boil them, then dress it with olive oil) but the leafs are much softer and sweeter. It pickles well in salted rice malt so I usually pickled them and keep it in the fridge. It’s very handy when you want a little extra sides for your Japanese meal.
Komatsuna and Spinach were boiled and eaten as an easy salad. It’s either dressed with grounded sesame seed & soy sauce, our you may just top it with bonito flakes and drizzle a bit of soy sauce to it. It’s so easy to prepare and they refreshes your mouth while eating meaty or fishy things.
I love Chinese cabbage slow cooked in a broth, it gets soft and sweet, that how I usually eat but it’s also a staple in Japanese hot pots. I cooked both and this really warms up your body during this cold season.
Cabbages are shredded into salad or it was used as a stuffing of Gyoza, a Japanese style pan fried dumplings.
Daikons are either shredded or grated to be eaten raw, I ate so much grated daikon this winter. I also simmered in broth for more fulfilling dishes. I will cook several daikon and keep the leftover, soaked in its broth in the fridge. I will heat them up when I want to eat them, I can put it in oden ( Japanese hot pot with fish balls and stuff) or I can even slice it thin and put it in miso soup. When you precook these veggies it makes the daily cooking much easier.
Dried daikon are sun dried daikon and when you get these, you will have to soak them in water to soften them ( like the dried shiitake mushrooms). When soft, squeeze excess water out of them and you can either eat them raw by dressing it with olive oil, etc or you can pan fried them with garlic, salt and some soy sauce. The dried daikons are more crunchy and many loves this texture.
Spring onions are the sweetest during this coldest season, you can just pan fried them until it’s soft and juicy inside. Just a drizzle of soy sauce will do. I always add it to my soups and hot pots, tempura of spring onions are also good. I even tried Korean style pancake and it was gooooood.
Burdock roots are usually sliced thin and pan fried with carrots, seasoned with a pinch of salt and soy sauce (or fish sauce). They are also good in Kakiage (Tempura made of shredded veggies and seafood) . I made burdock and spring onion kakiage and topped on warm soba or udon and it was such a simple satisfying meal.