VISITKOCH JAPAN

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Wild vegetables

Apart from fish and meat on the list of local delicacies, the wild vegetables are too good to miss. They are produced in forests. Of all the prefectures in Japan, Kochi boasts the highest ratio of forests.
Among the wild vegetables are “shihochiku” bamboos that are unique to Kochi and available only for about a month from mid-October, and “itadori” (Japanese knotweed) that is available between April and May and popular for its crisp and crunchy texture, as well as “zenmai” (fiddlehead fern) and “udo” (a sort of wild asparagus). Various mountain vegetables in season, even though they may not look gorgeous, can be made into delicious food items, such as simmered dishes, tempura, fries and wild-vegetable sushi. “Inakazushi” (sushi from the countryside) does not use any fish but mountain vegetables and other locally raised vegetables. Inakazushi, which is visually attractive as well, includes hand-rolled sushi made of regular vinegared rice with a touch of “yuzu” citrus flavor, elephant ear (taro), shiitake mushrooms and “myoga” Japanese ginger and “tsumezushi” (packed sushi) made of bamboo sprout, “konnyaku” (devil"s-tongue) and other plant ingredients.
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