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JAPANESE FLAVOUR

For decades we have lived in a globalized world where we have the opportunity to taste the diversity of flavours and cuisines. Although traveling is not as easy as before due to the pandemic, it is unthinkable to remove the influences in the supermarkets from external forces. When it is impossible to leave the borders of your own country, a travel adventure can be found in the internationally inspired meals. 

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COLTSFOOT

Foraging period

LEAVES: SPRING - SUMMER

STEMS: SPRING

 

Because of its aniseed-like taste, this is great for salads. Coltsfoot is a popular means of respiratory treatment. Meanwhile, it has been discovered that the plant contains harmful pyrrolizidine alkaloids, so daily consumption is not recommended.

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JAPANESE KNOTWEED

Foraging period

SHOOTS: SPRING

FLOWERS: SUMMER

 

Considered the most destructive plant in the wild in Europe, one shouldn’t worry about over harvesting. It's a source of resveratrol (anti-cancer) and vitamin C. Knotweed is commonly found near water, car parks and lay-bys. In wastelands or areas that aren't well looked-after, the chances of finding knotweed are high. Knotweed is hardly ever spread by seed and instead it sends roots down, growing through concrete, damaging roads and just about anything man-made. In domestic gardens Japanese knotweed can establish itself by being transported in soil or compost, therefore one shouldn’t be putting any in the compost bin as waste. 

 

Japanese knotweed minced meat stir fry

These invasive pieces, the Japanese knotweed is quite common where I come from. At home I tried many different recipes with it. When the group suggested doing an Asian themed diner, I decided to make a dish adjusted to my taste. 

Course: main course

Servings: 4

Calories: 460 kcal per serving

Cost: 1,4 € per serving

 

Ingredients

250 grams minced pork-beef
250 grams noodles
400 grams green beans, ends trimmed
500 grams Japanese knotweed tips
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Pinch (or two) of black pepper

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the green beans together with the Japanese knotweed for three minutes, remove with tongs and set aside.

  • Cook the noodles in the same pot, follow the instructions of the package, drain and set aside.

  • In a non-stick pan, cook the garlic and onion with a dash of olive oil over medium heat. Cook for two minutes, then add the minced meat and cook until crispy browned.

  • Add the green beans and knotweed and let them fry a little.

  • Before removing the pan from the heat, drizzle the sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper over everything. Stir to mix everything.

  • Serve over the noodles.

Enjoy your meal!!

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