Tag Archives: Korean aster

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.

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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