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Ginger leaves stems offer a mild ginger flavor. The leaves are tough and are not edible. The flesh is soft, fragrant and crunchy that each root is about one inch in length and has the thin skin that is in pink-milky-white color. The taste is less pungent than the normal ginger that is mildly peppery and sweet.
Ginger leaves are available in the summer months.
Ginger leaves or Yanaka Shoga are harvested when ginger rhizomes are still young and small, and mainly ginger varieties of small-sized ginger, Ko Shoga are used. They are an herb that are used as a spice and medicinal purposes; they are a member of the Zingiberaceae family.
Ginger leaves are rich in potassium and manganese. They contain a spicy compound called gingerol and a medicinal compound called shogaol which can help increase people's appetite as well as help exert bactericidal effect. Additionally, the United States National Cancer Institute stated that gingerol has the highest cancer preventive effect. Ginger leaves have over two hundreds scents, and what we taste in our mouths is not a taste that is actually a spicy scent. The smell of ginger leaves can increase blood flow in brain which can help activate brain function.
Ginger leaves can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Their mild peppery and sweet taste pair well with mackerel dishes, pork dishes, rice dishes, tempura, miso soups and salads. They are often made into soy sauce or sweet pickled ginger or simply dipped in moro miso paste, and eat them like stick vegetables. Choose the ones that their leaves are extended straight and green. Make sure that roots are pink-milky-white and the base of roots is pinkish-red. The size of roots should be about the size of your pinky finger because large roots tend to have more pungent taste. Try to get the ones that retain moisture as a whole. They will be more tasteful when there is more pinkish redness in the base of the root. For storing, wrap roots in a newspaper, put stems and leaves in a plastic bag, and store them in the refrigerator since they are weak to dryness. Try to use them as soon as possible because they may get low-temperature damage from staying in the refrigerator for too long.
Ginger leaves are called Yanaka Shoga because they are the special local product of Yanaka in Tokyo. They became a popular product in the Edo period since they were used as a summer gift among merchants, craftsmen and Yanaka monks, so they were also called Bon Shoga.
Recipes that include Ginger Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
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