Monday, March 1, 2010

Fukinoto and some thoughts about the seasons

When I read those posts about Germans in Japan, who are always wondering, why for Japaneses the seasons of the year are so important, I can always shake my head in disbelief about those specific Germans. Some seem to come to Japan, maybe speak better Japanese than me, but somehow never "arrived" here and I'm not only referring to the most stupid, annoying and untrue book there is about Japan, going by the title "Darum nerven Japaner", this is another story, which always drives me mad at so much ignorance and arrogance... so I will try here to to tell people a little bit more about seasons and their importance, starting with this post about Fukinoto...

The wonderful thing about Japanese seasons is, that they are very clear to distinguish... and each season has it's own special food.
One season I'm especially looking forward to is the beginning of Fukinoto-season. After a long Winter, this ist the first flower, which is so strong, that it already starts growing under the snow and people use to eat it as first fresh vegetable of the year.
That flower is called "Fukinoto", it's the flower of Japanese Butterbur (Pestwurz in German) and it has a bitter, but very pleasant taste.
Here in Hakodate, it grows everywhere in March-May... and you best pick it, before it completely opens.
People cook it with Miso-soup or as Tempura.

Here, I prepared Tempura with it, but made a cold tomato-sauce with different flavours as dip for the Fukinoto. Today my husband and kids wanted to have steak with goose-pate topping and Gorgonzola-pasta, so I needed to think of cooking Fukinoto European-style. It worked out very nice and tasted good.
Actually I wanted to take some more pics of the main-course, but everybody was so hungry, so I had no chance to make pictures ^o^.


  1. Nach allem, was ich bei dir gelesen habe, finde ich es einfach wunderbar, dass in Japan noch dieser starke Bezug zur Natur besteht, der im Westen doch etwas verloren gegangen ist. Ich bin wirklich etwas neidisch ;)
    LG, Kerstin

  2. Dann musst Du uns unbedingt mal besuchen. :)
    Vieles kommt hier auch durch Shinto. In Deutschland hatten wir ja durch die Naturreligion ebenfalls einen sehr starken Bezug zu Baeumen, Pflanzen, Jahreszeiten... Ostern kommt nicht umsonst von "Ost" und der Weihnachtsbaum hat auch nicht viel mit Jesus zutun (kennst Du ja alles ^_~ )
    Leider ist das alles ja durch das Christentum platt gemacht worden. In Japan ist das zum Glueck nicht passiert. Bei den Skandinaviern konnte sich der "Glaube an die Natur" als Wesen noch halten. Ich bin so froh, dass ich hier soviel von den Leuten lernen konnte und auch mein eigenes Wissen ueber Pflanzen und Pilze weitergeben konnte... ich freue mich schon, was ich alles in Kyushu entdecken werde. :)
    Werde Dir auf alle Faelle berichten !!!

  3. Wow, what a combination. Great art and delicious food.

  4. Thank you so much!
    I'm happy you like it :)