Umi Nami Farm

Recipes and Vegetable Guide

Below is a guide to the vegetables we grow, with recipes for each type. We will gradually update this page with more information, so please let us know what we can add here to help you!

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Daikon 大根

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Daikon” literally means “big root,” and you can probably see how this white radish got it’s name! Here are some tips for enjoying daikon:

  • daikon is great raw! It pairs well with oily food.

  • If you want a less spicy taste, peel the skin. Most of the radish flavour is in the skin.

  • If you peel the daikon, don’t throw the peeled skin out! Try stir-frying it as a nice way to enjoy.

  • The whole daikon can also be stir-fried, steamed or cooked in soup

  • daikon leaves a delicious and healthy too! Eat them the way you like to eat kale.

Japanese Turnips カブ

The leaves of Japanese turnips are good to eat as well as the roots!  

One way to use the whole turnip leaves and all is to make “momitsuke.”  Kabu Momitsuke is a simple and traditional raw dish that you can use as a salad or side-dish with a variety of meals. Watch our video on how to make it or find a written recipe for a similar dish here.  

Japanese turnips are also good steamed or stir-fried or simmered in broth.  They are also great grilled on the barbeque!

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Hinona Kabu 日の菜カブ

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Komatsuna 小松菜

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One great way to eat komatsuna in a traditional Japanese way is to make “ohitashi.”  Basically, you blanch the komatsuna by dipping the whole thing (uncut) in boiling water for 30 seconds or so, then dip it in cold water to stop the cooking process.  Squeeze out the excess water, cut bite-sized and then dress it up: the traditional way would be a mix of soy sauce and dashi (broth) with katsuobushi (bonito flakes), but you can be creative.  Even just soy sauce tastes good.  

You read a more detailed recipe about making ohitashi here.  

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Shanghai Bok Choy チンゲンサイ

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Mizuna 水菜

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Mizuna was traditionally pickled, but today it’s usually grown in a more tender form as a salad green.  Chop it up and put it in your usual salad, or massage it with salt to make momitsuke

Mizuna can also be used as a bed of greens under a hot dish such as grilled meat.

Recently we also tried mizuna very lightly steamed or stir-fried and found that to be quite nice.  

 

Wasabina わさび菜

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Kakina カキ菜

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Kale

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We grow several kinds of kale, depending on the season.  This is an early summer kale bunch featuring Red Ursa and Black kale together in one bunch.

Try kale sauted in a pasta sauce, or cooked up together with swiss chard and some curry spices…just two of our favourite ways to enjoy this classic vegetable.

 

Nira (Garlic Chives) ニラ

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Bitter Melon (aka Goya) 苦瓜、ゴヤ

Thanks to Jeff Tanaka for kindly offering the following suggestions:

Bitter melon, known as goya in Okinawan language and nigauri in Japanese, is a staple in Okinawan cooking. Because our western diet so often relies on sweet and salty tastes, the bitter of the bitter melon is very healthy to add balance to our diet and diversify our flavor palate. It is also great at  lowering blood sugar levels and detoxifying blood. However, for those unaccustomed to the taste goya can be quite quite bitter – more so than any other vegetable in our diet. Therefore, it is recommended to slice the bitter melon in half, hollow out the middle of it and then cut it up – salt the pieces, let it set for a little time and then soak it in water. You can also offset the bitterness by using strong seasoning, but most people find that over time they become more and more accustomed to the taste. In Okinawa, the standard way of cooking bittermelon is a dish called goya champuru – champuru means mix or stir fry. Feel free to switch it up, but the standard recipe would involve taking the soaked bitter melon and stir-frying it with oil and carrots until the vegetables are soft. Then, you can add big chunks of firm tofu and an egg at the end if you would like. Traditionally, it would also include some pork belly or spam. Finish off with some soy sauce and sesame oil you will have a nice easy and filling meal. 
 
If you’d like something simpler – you can par-boil the goya and then saute with sesame oil until brown. Add some soy sauce and sugar to taste and you will have a crispy bitter side dish. Bittermelon, known as karela in Hindi, is also used widely in South Asia and Southeast Asian Cuisine. Try experimenting with some curry spices as well and if you’re feeling adventurous you can throw in some tamarind paste for a nice tangy dish. 
 

 

Please check back later for more new content!