Glossary - Ingredients

Taranome/Aralia elata shoots


Shoots from the aralia elata shrub eaten in tempura or soy sauce-based marinades


"Taranome" (aralia elata shoots) are the shoots of Taranoki shrubs from the araliacae family with just the right amount of bitterness and a tender texture. A delightful spring treat, as they sprout at the beginning of spring which is when they are consumed in Japan. April to May is the peak of their season in nature, but those cultivated in greenhouses primarily peak from December to March.


Aside from folic acid which is known to help prevent anemia, they also contain dietary fibers and beta carotene which acts as an antioxidant. The bitterness comes from elatosides, a nutrient only found in taranome, and they work to suppress the absorption of sugars and the increase of blood sugar levels.


Consume quickly as the flavor goes bad very quickly. Soak taranome shoots in water then wrap in newspaper and place in a plastic bag with air holes when refrigerating.


Shoots of the aralia elata shrubs grow on mountains all over Japan and they have a short season, making them a rather valuable ingredient. Nowadays, farmers have begun cultivating these shoots in greenhouses.

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