Horseradish is a very popular plant in Japan. There are many varieties of horseradish, but they all have similar characteristics. They are edible plants with bright red leaves and stems. Most people eat them raw or cooked like spinach or cabbage.
In Japan there are two types of horseradish, one called “kuro” (meaning “red”) and another type called “hirame”.
Kuro is a very bitter and sour variety of horseradish. It is used mostly for pickling. If eaten raw it causes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and other symptoms. Kuro tastes bad so most Japanese don’t eat it unless they want to make a special dish out of it.
Hirame is a milder kind of horseradish than kuro. It is usually eaten fresh and not dried. Hirame taste good when mixed with vinegar or soy sauce.
The best way to tell the difference between these two kinds of horseradish is to look at the color of the leaves. If they are green, then it’s kuro, if they are purple, then it’s hirame.
Horseradish likes damp soil and sunlight. The best way to grow it is to make a trench in the ground and put the roots in it. The trench should be several inches deep and one inch wide. After you place the roots in the trench, cover them up with dirt.
Make sure the trench has good sun exposure. In a few weeks you should see green leaves popping out of the ground. It’s best to push down on the leaves and stems every once in awhile to help them grow faster.
Horseradish has many uses as a cooking ingredient. It can be used to spice up sauces, fish, meat and whatever else you can think of. Nowadays it is used to make wasabi, a popular Japanese horseradish based condiment.
You can also dry out horseradish roots and use them as a spice later. To do this, just take a knife and cut the roots into small pieces. Place the pieces in the sun for about a week and make sure all the pieces are exposed to air (i.e.
turn them over every couple of days). After a week, store the dried up roots in a container.
Horseradish doesn’t take much work or maintenance, so it’s great for lazy gardeners and people with black thumbs.
Sources & references used in this article:
A biosystematic survey of United States ferns: Preliminary abstract by WH Wagner – American Fern Journal, 1963 – JSTOR
Implementing a community-based social marketing project to improve agricultural worker health. by H Durand – 1923 – GP Putnam’s sons
Ferns as House Plants by J Flocks, L Clarke, S Albrecht, C Bryant… – Environmental …, 2001 – ehp.niehs.nih.gov
Ferns to know in Oregon by RC Benedict – American Fern Journal, 1922 – JSTOR