Ebi-imo [海老芋(エビイモ)]

Ebi-imo[海老芋(エビイモ)] is a Tō-no-imo[唐芋(とうのいも)] cultivated in a special method of earthing up over and over. Tō-no-imo is a species of Sato-imo[里芋(さといも)](taro). The name "Ebi-imo"(Ebi means shrimp.) is derived that has curved shape and stripes like a shrimp.

That is a Kyō-yasai[京野菜(きょうやさい)](traditional vegetables from Kyoto) and has cultivated in Kyoto from ancient times. Therefore, that is also called "Kyō-imo[京芋(きょういも)]". But Kyō-imo also refers to Takenoko-imo[タケノコイモ] which is a different taro from Ebi-imo.

Ebi-imo
Ebi-imo



In the An-ei[安永(あんえい)] Era(1772-81) of the Edo Period, Shōrenmon-in[青蓮門院(しょうれんもんいん)], who was a royal member and monk, brought that from Nagasaki to Kyoto and the cultivation of Ebi-imo started.


Ebi-imo is harvested from October to February. As it was previously mentioned, Ebi-imo is a Kyō-yasai but Iwata[磐田(いわた)] area in Shizuoka Prefecture has 80% of the share of Ebi-imo now.

Ebi-imo with white Miso
Ebi-imo with white Miso





Ebi-imo is treated as a luxury foodstuff and that is often used in high-class Japanese-restaurants. That has a fine and sticky texture and that is mildly sweet. That is mainly cooked as boiled dishes with ingredients such as soy sauce and sake. That is used as a dish of Osechi[御節(おせち)] which are dishes eaten in new year's day.

In Kyoto, there is a local dish called "Imo-bō[芋棒(いもぼう)]". Imo-bō is a boiled dish using Ebi-imo and dried cod called "Bō-dara[棒鱈(ぼうだら)]".

Boiled Ebi-imo and radish
Boiled Ebi-imo and radish

White Miso soup with Ebi-imo
White Miso soup with Ebi-imo





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