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?
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.
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.