Sansai Tempura (deep fried edible wild plants) in Japan

Sanai Tempura (deep fried edible wild plants)


Sansai is edible wild plant that means mountain vegetables in Japanese, generally grows wild, not grow to force. There are many Sansai in Japan, and people enjoy Sansai flavor, the taste of spring. During the spring, you can find some Sansai at near mountains or some supermarkets in Japan. And also you can raise some Sansai easily in the garden. I raise and enjoy some Sansai, like Nobiru (wild rocambole), Mitsuba (Japanese honewort), Myoga (Japanese ginger), etc., too.
Many Sansai (edible wild plants) have slightly bitter tastes, can be eaten as tempura (deep fried foods), soup, salad, pickles, or jam, etc. When I was a child, I hate Sansai  because of its bitterness, but now, I love them. Sansai’s bitter taste is addicting! One of my favorite ways of Sansai cooking is tempura (deep fried foods). Sansai tempura is a very good match with cold beer!

Fuki-noto : Edible flower bud of the Fuki (Petasites japonicus) plants


Udo: a plant related to ginseng & Taranome: Fatsia sprouts.


Kogomi: Ostrich fern


Last weekend, I cooked Sansai tempura. I fully enjoyed the taste of the only spring seasons! During the spring, you can eat Sansai tempura at many Soba restaurants in Japan. There is a menu of tempura or tenzaru (soba with tempura).

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