Glossary - Ingredients

Fukinotou/Japanese butterbur shoots


Flower buds from the wild "fuki" butterbur native to Japan. An iconic spring flavor


Frequently found when the snows thaw from February to March, these "fukinotou" (Japanese butterbur shoots) have been well-loved as a sign of spring for a very long time. With their distinctive bitterness and aroma, they are eaten often as tempura or in "aemono" (dressed dishes often made with fresh seasonal vegetables).


Rich in potassium which is known to help prevent high blood pressure and reduce swelling, they also contain vitamins and dietary fibers. Alkanoids help to reinforce the liver's functions, and they are what provide the bitter flavor.


Wrap in a slightly moistened paper towel then put in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Can also be stored in the freezer after boiling to remove the bitterness. Wipe away the moisture then wrap small quantities in plastic wrap and freezer bags, then store in the freezer.


Make sure to pick butterbur shoots with the buds firmly closed. When the flowers sprout, they will become too tough and much more bitter.


Contains petasitenine which is a bitter flavor with poisonous properties, so ensure you boil first to remove this when preparing to eat. That being said, there has never been a warning of this potential health hazard in Japan, so there should not be an issue when eaten in moderation.

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