Tasty Konyac potato

Dear friends of Miyabi!

Have you ever had konyaku in Miyabi? I recommend this meal very much. You won’t get konyaku in any other restaurant in Czech. You would have to go all the way to Japan.

In Japan already for more than two thousand years people eat this product. It is associated with longevity. I am a vigor promoter of this food and therefor konyaku is on Miyabi menu for twenty-five years. And truth is that it does not sell much.

It does not sell probably because it is an unknown material in our region. Who would eat something called a poisonous snake? Who would eat what in botanical gardens is presented as a beautiful carnivore?  But don’t be discouraged. The bulbs undergo a lengthy treatment by steaming, drying, grinding, cooking, mixing and re-cooking, and the mass is even neutralized with calcium. The resulting jelly-like product becomes a wondrously good material. It is called the broom of the body because it cleans the walls of the digestive tract. Even a piece of konyaku makes our digestion system occupied and miraculously we feel full even though konyaku has almost zero caloric value. Do you know the product Zero noodles? The producer gave these noodles this name because they are konyaku noodles. You can eat a lot, but you don’t get fat. People who buy various products to lose weight have no idea that these very often contain a powder of konyaku.

In Miyabi, I have konyaku on our menu as onyaku nigiri and as sashimi konyaku. Both are great dishes and can be included in the shoujin ryoori temple cuisine. We import konyaku powder and neutralizing calcium from Japan and we prepare konyaku blocks ourselves. For nigiri, we cook our konyaku for a long time in dashi, mirin and soy sauce. The taste is beautiful. On the contrary, we serve sashimi konyaku as slices without flavoring and pour them over our original yuzusumiso dressing. It is a combination of high quality miso, yuzu citrus juice and Japanese rice vinegar. I love konyaku. For its nice hagotai consistency, taste and the promise of good health.

When you will travel to Japan to learn about Japanese gastronomy, remember the konyaku and go to the region of Gunma Prefecture, where it is widely grown in the valleys below mountains. In the local farmers’ center they have a huge kitchen shop, where you can taste dozens of dishes and of course the main ingredient is  konyaku.

The best was their konyaku on a stick baked with very tasty miso mix. They also have shop department where you can buy their products to take with you. As a souvenir they add customers a porous wash sponge, which is also made of konyaku. I bought from them a children’s book about konyaku and I show it our guests in Miyabi quite often. In Gunma Prefecture, they even have an amusement park that resembles Disney Land and is just as popular. People come to learn what konyaku is and how it is made. In the factory behind glass windows you can observe all processes involved in the production of konyaku.

But all visitors spend most of their time in the large hall, where half is the dining hall and half is their shop. They have kitchen too, where you can learn how to prepare beautifully smooth and tasty jelly from konyaku bulbs or konyaku powder. I tried. They kindly packed my product to take it with me home to show off. The biggest attraction of the amusement park is probably that for 1000 yen you buy a coupon tebehoudai and eat as much as you can You treat yourself to everything you want to taste. There was an awful lot of food and everything was very good.

I admit that in the end I ate,  little bit by bit, plenty of konyaku. Too much konyaku. I had serious fears that my stomach would swell up and my intestines would crack. Konyaku is said to absorb water and multiply a lot in the digestive tract. It is important to bite well, and yes I bit well all the konyaku I ate. Even so, I was truly worried. Luckily in the end, I was fine. I gained a lot of experiences in that amusement park and was very thankful. Konyaku became my hero.

I was intrigued that the Gunma Prefecture and even the Japanese government are donating money to help to popularize konyaku products. By doing so they are helping to combat obesity, which has recently spread in Japan. Konyaku flour can be found in biscuits, salty sticks, bread or noodles. My husband was totally thrilled with the konyaku and its health benefits. And in order to live to become 150 years old, he wishes to eat konyaku every day. He even wants me to add konyaku to beef goulash It is then an konyaku added goulash with less meat.

Did I inspire you? Will you come to Miyabi and taste konyaku? Will you eat this vegetable called poisonous snake? Maybe you will take the inspiration from the konyaku amusement part and set up an amusement park in the Czech Republic for example on the topic of celery bulbs? They are good and they are typical here in Czech. All about celery!  Have a wonderful adventure!

Your Darja

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