January 07, 2011

Seven Herbs of Spring

Fresh from the grocery store or

freeze-dried and packaged, these seven herbs are eaten on the 7th of January. Usually on top of rice in okayu, rice porridge. Something warm and green for this blustery cold day today in Tokyo.

These packets of freeze-dried herbs are sprinkled on rice and hot water is poured over it to make a dish called ochazuke. Ochazuke is also made with green tea over rice or other kinds of dried flakes and hot water.

Starting at the top and going clockwise, there is seri, Japanese parsley, then nazuna (shepherd's purse), gogyo (cudweed), hakobera (chickweed), hotokenoza (henbit), suzuna (turnip), and suzushiro (daikon). Do not substitute or try eating any of these herbs from the roadside where you are. Some may not be the same!

Check the labels below for other posts and the website, Kids Web Japan, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Kids Web Japan-- seven herbs of spring

Japan Times 2003 article by Linda Inoki-- Haru no nanakusa

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vegetablej said...

I'm so happy to see this article about the seven herbs where you actually tell me what they are! I was never able to see them in kana while I was in Japan but that didn't stop me from bringing a precious package of the dried ones back with me. I will certainly be fixing myself some ochazuke tomorrow.

Happy new Year!

Annie Donwerth Chikamatsu said...

Be careful, though! Do more research. Sometimes there are variations in the genus.