Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Satoimo in a Cup or The Tambo Gets a New Friend

While on our walk in Yanaka we stopped to say hello to a cat. We'd chosen a street at random to walk down, and a friendly cat emerged from a doorway. Hikari, the cat, shared the front stoop with a shallow bowl containing a bit of water and what looked like satoimo (taro root). Hikari's owner (innkeeper and stained glass artist) confirmed my hunch. When I asked why they were in water, he explained he was sprouting them. Moments later, he handed me one carefully wrapped in plastic with instructions on how to sprout it myself. And so the window farm grows.

Since then, I've kept it on my windowsill with my mini-tambo (rice field) where it's been happily growing ever since. Satoimo is a regular feature in a number of Japanese dishes like houtou udon, and we've grown come to enjoy it in our ad-hoc versions. It can be rather slimy, but if it's not cooked too long it's more than palatable. It's quite a healthy food, and is even rumored to have anti-aging properties. A long-time staple food in Asian cuisine that comes in many different varieties, even the greens are edible.

I'm considering putting it out in the garden or trying it in a container, but I'm (unbelievably) starting to run out of space in both places. I may just grow it in a pot and eat the greens. Regardless, it's a lovely addition to the nouka (no-ka) no mado (window farm).


Anjuli said...

you are inspiring me to surround myself with more little 'friends' :)

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Go for it, Anjuli! Any luck with the rose, by the way?