What types of Japanese vegetables are delicious and nutritious? Come on, check out the following discussion on typical Japanese vegetables!
Highly Nutritious and Delicious Japanese Vegetables
In Japanese food culture, vegetables are as important as meat and seafood. In every typical Japanese dish, there are always various kinds of vegetables that add to its delicacy. Vegetables are not only a compliment but are the main ingredient in Japanese cuisine.
The following are flat Japanese vegetables that are unique and widely used in Japanese cuisine:
Negi (Japanese Bundled Onions)
Negi is one very popular vegetable. Due to its very similar appearance to spring onions, Negi is often equated with this vegetable. Another name for this vegetable is Negi dragon (long Negi) or Shiro Negi (white Negi).
Long green onions are widely used to add flavor to stews, soups and hot pots. Negi is much sought after during winter in Japan because it is known as one of the most effective natural cold remedies.
Kabocha (Kabocha Pumpkin)
Kabocha is a type of pumpkin, with a sweeter taste. Kabocha has a tough texture with green skin, but once opened the flesh is bright orange.
Kabocha is mostly prepared by boiling it with soy sauce and sugar as complementary food at home. The kabocha skin is edible and tastes delicious, so it doesn’t need to be peeled before cooking.
This Japanese vegetable is also popular as vegetable tempura. Kabocha is diced, then mashed, and used in salads. Kabocha is also rich in nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and potassium.
In Japanese, Daikon means ‘big root’. The Japanese daikon vegetable itself is indeed large in size with a crunchy taste when raw and becomes soft when cooked.
This Japanese vegetable is known to have a mild taste, not too sharp like other types of radish. Daikon can be enjoyed in many ways, whether it’s boiled with seafood or served like Oden.
In addition, daikon can also be served raw by grated. This dish is called daikon oroshi which is usually enjoyed with grilled fish, soba noodles, Udon, or tempura. This Japanese white radish is a great source of fiber, riboflavin, potassium, and several vitamins.
Shiso (Perilla Leaf)
For those of you who like vegetables that taste sharp and strong, shiso is sure to suit your taste. Shiso or Perilla leaves are known to have a very distinctive aroma.
In Japan, there are two types of Shiso that are widely used as vegetables. The green Shiso is called aojiso, while the red Shiso is called akajiso.
Its use is also different, you know! Aojiso is used in Japanese salad dressings, while akajiso is often mixed with umeboshi (plum root) to add flavor to rice.
In addition to its very distinctive aroma, Shiso is also known to have a high content of omega fatty acids in it.
Naga-imo (Japanese Mountain Sweet Potato)
Naga-imo means ‘long potato’ according to the look and shape of the vegetable. Naga-imo isn’t served like a normal potato, but is more commonly found in the form of tororo, which is then processed into a sticky, slimy topping for noodles or rice.
Naga-imo is also widely used as a thickener for okonomiyaki dishes. The taste of this Japanese vegetable is very mild, so when used as a side dish it won’t overpower the taste of the main dish.
The nutritional content in dragon-imo is also quite high, including protein, potassium, magnesium and other vitamins.
Renkon (Lotus Root)
Renkon is a typical Japanese vegetable that can be found in almost all Japanese dishes. As the name suggests, this vegetable is indeed the root of the lotus flower which is known for its beauty.
In Japan, lotus root is processed as a vegetable because it tastes crunchy and delicious. Because it has a tough texture, renkon is considered ideal for tempura and stir-fries.
Renkon can be served in various ways, from salted, sautéed, to fried.
Takenoko (Bamboo Shoots)
In Japan, Takenoko or bamboo shoots are a special food in spring. Its soft and savory taste makes this vegetable very popular.
One of the popular food made from takenoko is Takenoko no Gohan or bamboo shoot rice. Takenoko is also very delicious when prepared with meat or vegetables, and is a good source of protein and fiber.
Who doesn’t know this spicy green condiment that accompanies sushi? Wasabi is probably the most famous Japanese vegetable. This vegetable is in the form of a stick and is in the same family as horseradish and mustard.
Wasabi served with sushi is usually not real wasabi, but has been mixed with horseradish and food coloring.
This is because the cultivation of wasabi is quite difficult and the price of real wasabi is also quite expensive. Thus wasabi is never served whole, making it one of the world’s most prized vegetables.
Gobo (Burdock Root)
Gobo is a long root Japanese vegetable that tastes delicious and is nutritious. Gobo can be served boiled as a soup or brewed as a tea. The taste is sweet and the texture is firm like lotus root. After boiling, the gobos will also harden.
Besides being nutritious, gobo is also known as a natural remedy for colds with high iron content.
Satsuma-imo (Sweet Potato)
Sweet potato is a vegetable that is easy to find around the world. But the Japanese enjoy sweet potatoes in many unique ways! For example processing sweet potatoes into sweets or ice cream.
Various snacks with sweet potato flavor are very easy to find in Japan, you know! Despite their sweet taste, Japanese sweet potatoes are very low in calories and rich in vitamin C.
So, those are various types of Japanese vegetables that may not be common in Indonesia but are high in nutrients and vitamins. What vegetables would you like to try?