A friend recently went into the nearby mountains to pick some warabi ferns and brought over a bundle for me. In English we call them bracken fern and they are somewhat similar to the more commonly known fiddleheads, but warabi are a specific type of fern that are a popular part of traditional Japanese cuisine. We are lucky enough to have a very similar counterpart growing here on the west coast of British Columbia.
She also brought over another favourite — fuki (apparently called “bog rhubarb” in English!) It’s indigenous to Japan, but has been introduced to the southern west coast of B.C. by Japanese immigrants.
I’ve been trying them out for a few different dishes. I added them into a chunky soup with veggie broth, potatoes, noodles, celery, and carrots, and fresh garlic chives from the garden.
I also had them for breakfast in a bowl of brown rice, topped with umeboshi (pickled plum) — a very popular part of the traditional Japanese diet.