Stachys affinis, with common names that include Chinese artichoke, Japanese artichoke, and knotroot, is a perennial herbaceous plant of the family Lamiaceae, originating from China. Its rhizome can be grown and eaten as a root vegetable.
While the plant is easy to grow, the tubers are small, convoluted, and indented, so they are considered very tedious, if not difficult to clean properly. The thin skin ranges from a pale beige to ivory-white colour. The flesh underneath, under proper cultivation, is white and tender. Chinese poets compare it to jade beads. The tubers are harvested in the fall season in the Northern hemisphere.
The flavor of the stem tubers is delicate, and they can be prepared similarly to Jerusalem artichokes in cooking. It is used as a vegetable, in salad compositions, but more so as a garnish. It has a nutty, artichoke-like flavor.
In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the Chinese artichoke is primarily pickled. In particular, its tuber is a part of Osechi, cooked for celebrating Japanese New Year. Dyed red by leaves of red shiso after being pickled, it is called Chorogi.
In French cuisine, its cooked tuber is often served alongside dishes named japonaise or Japanese-styled.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stachys affinis.|
- "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 27 June 2015
- Stachys affinis in Plants for a Future database
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Ward, Artemas (1911). The Grocer's Encyclopedia.
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