Tag Archives: Aster scaber

Dried Aster Scaber

One of my favourite perennial vegetables and a fantastic edimental is Aster scaber (nowadays Doellengeria scabra), here harvested in spring in my garden:

Harvested Aster scaber shoots in my garden

In September, in a farmer’s market in Atlanta, Georgia I found packets of dried Aster scaber leaves (I had searched unsuccessfully for chwinamul in other Korean supermarkets, but hadn’t found it before):

Packet of dried Aster scaber

On the front of the packet is a WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm!

WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm!

On the other hand, on the back of the packet it says: “Keep your health with benefits of HAETAE Sangol Hyanggi Namuls”

On the back of the packet: “Keep your health with benefits of Haetae “Sangol Hyanggi” Namuls

Is the reason for the cancer warning on the packet due to the fact that the same packet is used for a range of dried vegetables and shiitake mushrooms (namul), including bracken fern which contains a carcinogen, ptaquiloside (however, it is both water-soluble and is destroyed by heat )

Is the reason for the cancer warning on the packet due to the fact that the packet is used for a range of dried vegetables and shiitake mushrooms (namul), including bracken fern which contains a carcinogen, ptaquiloside which is both water-soluble and is destroyed by heat.

I was also surprised to read what would seem to be the excessive pre-preparation by boiling for 20 mins., followed by a soak overnight and then rinsing 7 times, to remove the bitterness.  I’ve never detected bitterness and have understood it’s also used in salads. I wonder also why they are known as “thumbs”?

I was also surprised by the pre-preparation by boiling for 20 mins., followed by a soak overnight and then rinsing 7 times, to remove the bitterness.

EdimAsters

There are many Asters that are foraged and cultivated in the Far East. This includes Aster scaber (Korean Aster) which is one of the 80 in my book Around the World in 80 plants. I’ve blogged a lot about this fantastic edimental. See http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?s=aster+scaber. In my book, I mention 4 other Asian species that are used as spring vegetables and in my most comprehensive Japanese foraging book there are 8 species mentioned. I’ve now finally flowered two other species, both mentioned in my book, so maybe there’ll be a taste in the spring…they are all late flowering. Here they are at the end of October 2017!
See on FB here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155527725545860.1073743046.655215859&type=1&l=7a796be893

Octobasters

There are some great autumn flowering edimentals (or edible ornamentals) in the Asteraceae, and this is my favourite of the lot, Korean Aster or Chwinamul (Aster scaber)….and it’s also very photogenic!
If you don’t grow this and aren’t living in Korea, your only chance to try this is to find the dried leaf on Korean markets around the world. Anyone seen it? Like to send me a packet? Here’s how to prepare it: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/chwinamul
The pictures are from my garden on 10th October 2016 of a plant that originated from a Korean vegetable catalogue!:
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Korean Aster on Edimentals

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Two years ago, I posted this picture of Aster scaber, commonly wild foraged in Korea and nowadays cultivated for markets in Korea and exported dried to Koreans in North America :)
The following is a collection of pages here  giving more information on this great perennial vegetable, or read the account in my book Around the World in 80 plants :)
1. Aster scaber and introducing Misoni: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=3103
2. Pakora hasn’t met this selection of vegetables before:http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=5250
3. The wild greens of Korea: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=3635
4. Perennial vegetable tempura: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=2382
5. My first Korean aster flower: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=2008
6. Alexandra Berkutenko and the giant Edimentals of the Russian Far East:http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=208

Pakora hasn’t met this selection of veggies before!

I gave myself a little treat this week and made Indian pakora! Pakora are basically fried vegetable fritters, often sold as a starter in Indian restaurants. The vegetables were dipped in a batter made of gram (chick pea) flour, a little chili and garam masala spice.  It would be interesting to use broad bean (fava) flour instead of chick peas!
I used: Day  lily buds (Hemerocallis), common sow thistle  (Sonchus oleraceus), radish, red mitsuba (Cryptotaenia japonica atropurpurea), musk mallow (Malva moschata), Korean aster (Aster scaber), sorrel (Rumex acetosa), garden orach (Atriplex hortensis), Parsley pea (tops), Allium nutans x senescens (leaves and flower stems/buds) and Hablitzia tamnoides (tops)…..
DELICIOUS!!

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The Wild Greens of Korea

There are still many undiscovered (in the west) perennial edibles in the Far East. I’m therefore now concentrating mainly on that area in this quest. This spring I will travel for 3 weeks in Japan as part of this work. Another “country” with a rich diversity of food plants is Korea. With help from my Norwegian / Korean friend Misoni Sandvik whom I mention in my book, and who is on her own quest to find and grow wild herbs she remembers foraging when she was a child in South Korea, I’ve received two books from Korea today entitled “The Wild Greens of Korea” and “The Medicinal Herb of Korea”. There’s often a diffuse boundary between food and medicine in Korea, so the second book is also relevant, including plants like Aralia cordata (Udo)!

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Aralia cordata (Udo)
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Aster scaber (Korean Asters), the plant that lead to Misoni contacting me as related in my book, a plant she was looking for that I had on my seed list!


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Perennial vegetable tempura

April 2014 and Yngvil (aka Ms. Saladdy) was helping out in my garden, her practical experience for her education to become a gardener!  I’ll let her tell her own story of the wonderful diverse tempura we made together on that day using perennial veggies!

See also https://saladdy.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/tempura-day 

..includes ostrich fern, blanched lovage, Udo, perennial kale, moss-leaved dandelion, Allium victorialis, nettles, Aster scaber, scorzonera shoots, Campanula latifolia, Oca, Myrrhis, Allium scorodoprasum, garlic, Allium ursinum, Ligularia fischeri (first time), sea kale, Primula veris “Red Strain”, Rumex acetosa, Alliaria petiolata and a few others…

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