2008-08-25

Harvesting myoga

Last Sunday, I harvested myoga (みょうが, 茗荷) grown on my balcony. Myoga (Zingiber mioga) that is used in Japanese cuisines is a close relative of ginger (Zingiber officinale). Unlike ginger whose edible part is rhizomes, myoga plants do not have fat roots. The part of the moyga plant that the Japanese eat is flower bud. Can you see the flower of myoga in the photo below?


Close-up view.


I could harvest eleven myoga from three containers last Sunday.


Raw myoga is used as trimmings for tofu, noodles and sashimi, but this time I made sweet pickle (amazu-zuke, 甘酢漬け) of myoga.


Recipe

1. Mix the followings in a container to make pickling solution. A half-cup (100 ml) of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Dissolve the ingredients well.

2. Slice each myoga longitudinally into two halves.

3. Boil the sliced myoga for 40 seconds in boiling water.

4. Drain the hot water off the myoga.

5. Put the boiled myoga into the pickling solution while myoga are still hot.

6. Store the myoga in pickling solution overnight in refrigerator. You can eat the pickle next day. The myoga in pickling solution can be stored for a month in refrigerator. Pickled myoga is usually served as thin shreds since it has rather pungent taste.

Myoga plants can be grown pretty easily in garden and in containers. Roots of myoga are sold in February to April in many homecenters and gardening shops in Japan. Just by putting the roots in soil, you can harvest myoga in summer every year, since myoga is a perennial plant. One essential thing that you should know to grow myoga plant is that it hates direct sunlight, so you should keep the plant in the shade. I am growing the myoga plant in the northern balcony of my apartment.

8 comments:

Texan said...

Hello,

I am moving to Texas in a few weeks
where I would like to plant Myoga in my back yard.

I will appreciate if you can tell me where I can buy Myoga plant or seed if any in USA.

Aki said...

Hello!

I am sorry but I don't know where it is sold in USA. Myoga doesn't produce seeds so it's necessary to get dormant rhizome.

In this page, American and Canadian people are talking about how to grow ginger and its relatives. Since myoga is also mentioned in the thread, myoga plant seems to be available in North America. I hope you'll be able to find one in Texas.

chitra said...

Hello Aki,

thank you for your post ...i am in Seattle and i was fortunate to get a rhizome of myoga and this morning i noticed there are two buds in the pot. how else do you use it? besides the pickling? my email is chitrazp@comcast.net

thanks again!

Aki said...

Hello chitra!

I often eat thin shreds of raw myoga with raw tofu. You can see a photo of the dish in this page. Front right in the photo is the one. Soy sauce is poured over it before eating.

I also use raw myoga for salad by mixing thin shreds with sliced cucumber.

Also, thin shreds of raw myoga are often put on soba noodle and udon noodle. But, since these noodles need dashi and mirin (ingredients used for Japanese cuisine), I am not sure whether you can make them in the US. Here is a recipe for soba noodle. Making dashi soup is a bit cumbersome, but if you can obtain instant dashi powder, you can make dashi soup just by dissolving it in water.

If you can obtain dashi, putting myoga shreds in Japanese-style scrambled egg is also good. You can apply this recipe to the Japanese-style scrambled egg. Mix the ingredients described in the recipe and, after adding thin shreads of myoga into the mixture, make soft scrambled egg. I like this one very much.

Margarito said...

Good evening, I'm a journalist and I'm writing to you for asking if I can use the photos that you published here. It's for an article I'm going to write on my web site. Could you give me an e-mail addresses where I can contact you? Thank you very much.

Marnen said...

Aki: mirin is easily available in the U.S. So are dashi ingredients -- most Chinese or Japanese markets have konbu and katsuobushi -- and dashi powder.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thanks for your photos--I just planted a myoga and a neighbor whose Japanese wife grows it told me that she harvests the roots. That seemed wrong and I can see from your blog that it is. She's harvesting the buds, like you do!