Warabi (edible bracken)
Warabi is one of the various edible wild plants you can find in Oe Town. In spring through early summer, we pick young buds that have not yet turned into leaves. You can only eat them after removing the harsh taste by boiling them (use water containing wood ash and baking soda). The texture is crispy and the more you chew, the slimier texture also comes out. You can make Ohitashi (boiled with soy sauce dressing), pickles, miso soup, and more. In Oe Town, pickled warabi with hot peppers and soy sauce called “Ippon-zuke” (it retains its shape) is especially popular.
May through June
Removal of harsh taste
In preparation, it is a good idea to cut them if necessary to make the length even. Some people divide and bundle it for about a single serving. Sprinkle baking soda or wood ash (or you can rub the cut edge with baking soda or wood), pour boiling water, put a plastic bag or a newspaper directly onto them, and leave them until the following morning. The next day, rinse them out with clean water before you start cooking.
Enjoy warabi (after skimmed off) with your favorite condiments! (It goes with almost anything. Our recommendations are sanbaizu (a sauce of sake, soy, and vinegar), soy seasoned with grated wasabi, soy seasoned with mustard, soy sauce mixed with vinegar, soy sauce with citrus juice, vinegared miso, mayonnaise mixed with miso, soy seasoned with mayonnaise, etc.)
Warabi (after being skimmed off) tastes less bitter and the texture is soft. You can dip one or a few of them together in batter and deep fry.