In season between March and May, fuki (Japanese butterbur) is a vegetable grown in Japan, characteristic for it slightly bitter flavor. The "Aichi Wase" (mainly grown in Aichi Prefecture) variety is often seen in super markets, and is about 1 m (3.3 ft) in length. There is also the Akita variety grown in areas throughout Hokkaido and the Tohoku region which can reach lengths of 2 m (6.6 ft). Due to its fibrous consistency, the fuki is used in "tsukudani" (preserved foods simmered in soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar) and prepared with sweet marinades. Fuki buds that push through the soil in early spring are used in many dishes as well.
This vegetable is a good source of fiber.
Connoisseur selection / storage
Select fuki with fresh leaves, and undamaged stems. Thick-stemmed fuki will be very fibrous and tough. Select those with stems between 1 to 2 cm (0.4 to 0.8 in.) thick. Remove the leaves and place in vegetable storage bags or containers to prevent drying out and store in a refrigerator.
Recommended for use in simmered, dressed and stir-fried dishes that make the most of its crunch, flavorful aroma and light green color. The soft leaves can be used in "tsukudani" (preserved foods simmered in soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar) or "nameshi" (rice with leaves mixed in).