PORK & MISO STUFFED AKEBI (CHOCOLATE VINE)
Did you know that a majority of akebi sold throughout Japan come from Yamagata Prefecture?
Akebi, or more commonly known as chocolate vine, is a bitter but delicious purple fruit that is eaten seasonally in Autumn.
Native to the northern region of Japan (Tohoku), this fruit that was once frequently utilized in the Tohoku diet, is now rarely seen in modern cooking. The culture of eating this fruit has survived by being prepared and eaten as a part of traditional dishes.
HOW TO MAKE:
① Remove seeds and boil the seedless akebi in salted water until tender. Remove from water and set aside.
② Place canola oil in a pan and heat the oil, and fry both sides of the Akebi thoroughly.
③ Next, separate the hen-of-the-wood mushroom with your hands and cut into small pieces. Then, mince the myoga.
④ Place the minced pork, myoga, hen-of-the-wood mushroom, sake, sugar and miso in a pan. Mix well then sauté.
⑤ Lastly, take the finished product from step 4 and stuff it inside the fried akebi from step 2.
50g minced pork
100g hen-of-the-wood mushroom
2 myoga ( Japanese ginger)
2 tbsp miso paste
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sake
1 tsp canola oil
a pinch of salt
AKEBI ( CHOCOLATE VINE)
Characteristically bitter, with a sweet center, akebi has been eaten in northern Japan since ancient times. It is believed to have been eaten and enjoyed as a treat in a time when sugar was hard to come by.
Akebi is not only delicious, it also contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, zinc, potassium, calcium and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Even though the white flesh that surrounds the seeds is typically eaten, traditional Tsuruoka cuisine utilizes a less popular part, the skin.