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Ayame Yuki are available in the winter months.
The Ayame Yuki is an annual root vegetable and a member of the Brassicaceae family.
The Ayame Yuki is a beautiful small turnip that the neck is pink-violet and the bottom and its inside are white. The Ayame Yuki is about 1.5 inches in length and the meat is tender, dense and sweet.
Leaves of Ayame Yuki are more nutritious than roots that are rich in beta-carotene that can prevent cancer as well as improve immunostimulatory activity. Roots contain a starch degrading enzyme called diastase that is known to convert starch into sugar which can aid in digestion and help prevent heartburn.
Because of Ayame Yuki's pink-violet color, they are perfect for making salads and pickling in vinegar. Also they can be added to sushi, soups, stir-fries and rice dishes. Choose the ones that are heavy and their shoulders are lifted up. Make sure they have glossy firm surface and fresh leaves; change in color of the joint part that connect stems and roots indicate that they are old. Avoid the ones with fibrous root, scratches and cracks because they may not taste good. For storing, make sure to cut off stems and leaves from roots and store them in a plastic bag because stems and leaves will suck up moisture from roots. Leaves will go bad quickly, so try to eat them within one or two days, however roots can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Ayame Yuki are rare and expensive turnips in Japan. Turnips are used in Nanakusa Gayu that is a rice soup made by seven different herbs, such as Seri (Water dropwort), Suzushiro (radish), Gogyo (Cudweed), Hotokenoza (nipplewort), Nazuna (Shepherd's Purse), Hakobera (Chickweed) and Suzuna (Turnips). It is a Japanese custom to eat it on 7th of January every year to let the stomach rest after eating a lot of food during New Year and to pray for good heath in the coming year.
The name, Ayame Yuki came from its pink-violet color that is similar to the violet iris flower. Ayame Yuki are harvested in Kanagawa prefecture, Ibaraki prefecture and Kumamoto prefecture.
Recipes that include AyameYuki. One is easiest, three is harder.
|La Fuji Mama||Nanakusa-Gayu (Seven-Herb Rice Soup)|