Sometimes you just have to wait for the best things in life: Sesame Miso Kogomi (Fiddlehead Ferns)

I have literally been waiting an entire year to make this recipe… Ever since I watched Flying Witch in spring 2016, I have wanted to try a taste of the seasoned fiddlehead dish that was featured in episode 7… (actually, I want to eat every single food featured in this anime, but I digress…) unfortunately, fiddleheads are very seasonal and when the episode aired, they weren’t available! Imagine my disappointment… And so, I waited and waited and waited… and an entire year later, here we are: it’s finally time to make sesame miso kogomi!

About the recipe:

As Chinatsu remarks in Flying Witch, kogomi “definitely isn’t for kids/has an adult taste… I don’t think I’m quite ready for it yet…”

But, you’re ready for it, aren’t you??

The taste of the slightly bitter, but earthy and crisp kogomi pairs wonderfully with the sweet and salty flavor of sesame and miso. A topping of bonito flakes adds a bit of smokiness, making this a wonderful side dish to go with a cold beer.

Cooking this dish is a very simple thing… Simply blanch your vegetables, then mix with the sesame miso sauce! The amount of sauce you add will depend on your personal taste, so add as much or as little as you want. Just remember to squeeze some of the excess water from the fiddlehead ferns so that your sauce doesn’t become too watery.

About the ingredients:

Kogomi, or the fiddleheads of ostrich ferns, are edible wild plants that are available in the spring. In Japan, this type of fiddlehead can be found in grocery stores for a short time during the spring (around March/April).

There are several types of edible ferns that are eaten in Japan – kogomi (ostrich fern), warabi (bracken), zenmai (Japanese royal fern) – so maybe you could experiment and try this recipe with another type of edible fern if you can’t find kogomi.

I am unsure where kogomi can be found outside Japan, but check your local farmer’s market and keep an eye out at your grocery store! You never know when you might run into them… If anyone has seen them in their city or neighborhood, please leave a comment so that others can find it too!

Now, even though the cast of Flying Witch goes out and picks kogomi in the forest in the anime, I wouldn’t recommend foraging for these yourself in the wild unless you really, really know your plants, because not all fiddleheads are edible…

Kogomi (fiddlehead ferns of ostrich ferns) at a grocery store in Japan. The packages of kogomi in this picture are about 50g each.

Homemade sesame miso kogomi!

The Recipe:

Sesame Miso Kogomi

Makes about 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 100g kogomi (fiddleheads of ostrich ferns)
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Mirin
  • 1 tsp Awase miso
  • Bonito flakes

Directions:

  1. Trim the ends of the kogomi, removing any black or dark parts of the stem. Wash in cold water and drain.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add kogomi to the boiling water and cook for about 45 – 60 seconds, or until the vegetables have reached your ideal level of doneness. Remove immediately from the water and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  3. Once cool, drain the kogomi from the water. Gently squeeze the curled tops of the kogomi and shake out the stems to remove any excess water. Cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
  4. Grind sesame seeds with a mortar and pestle. Mix with sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and miso, stirring well to combine.
  5. Gradually mix sauce with the kogomi until it reaches your desired level of seasoning. You don’t have to add all the sauce if you don’t want to!
  6. Transfer to a serving dish, and top with bonito flakes.

Serve as a side dish or as an accompaniment to beer.

Source: Modified from a recipe on Cookpad.

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One thought on “Sometimes you just have to wait for the best things in life: Sesame Miso Kogomi (Fiddlehead Ferns)

  1. ..won’t be able to find the main ingredient..but I may have an idea about something similar..I will let you know..
    The great think here is the whole post..the way you communicate your Passion and make Everyone willing to start..to try..to keep goin…… Thank You so much!!! 😍😍😍

    Like

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