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Part 4: Keiichi's Genryu Food & Foraging

Genryu Fishing 4: Food & Foraging

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Genryu Fishing gifts from the mountains

When we enter the mountains for fishing, depending on the season, there are occasions when you receive a wonderful mountain gift other than fishing. They are ingredients of mountain blessings. In May to June we can pick many wild vegetables such as Taranome, Udo, Koshiabura, Shidoke, Aiko etc. and bamboo shoots we call Nemagaritake in June. Also we can find various mushrooms from summer to fall in the forests.


Nemagaritake ("Nemagari" bamboo shoots) and Koshiabura (Chengiopanax sciadophylloides stem & leaves)

When we get those wild vegetables, we cook our dinner with those ingredients at tenba(camp site) by the stream. Taranome, Koshiabura,Udo are good for tempura. We may make miso soup with nemagaritake bamboo shoots. These are very good menus of mountain plants for genryu camping. Wild vegetables are spring poetry on lowlands, but it is a pleasure of early summer in the mountains.


Taranome (sprouts of the Aralia elata shrub)

We normally do catch & release for iwana, but for this kind of special night we may keep some iwana and make sashimi of iwana or grill some salted iwana by the bonfire.

Mushrooms that can be harvested from summer to autumn are also one of great pleasures. Especially Maitake that grow in September is the best mushroom we can get in the genryu area. Maitake is good for tenpura, grill, miso soup and Maitake rice. The wonderful scent of Maitake is exceptional. I think we can call maitake the queen of mushrooms. Only one thing we must be careful about mushrooms is about   poisonous mushrooms. We should never eat mushrooms that we can not be sure of.

koshiabura tempura

Koshiabura tempura on the camp stove - delicious wilderness cuisine

Most of those mountain vegetables or mushrooms are hard to find at supermarkets or restaurants in town. If you want to eat those mountain plants or mushrooms, you need to go to the finest restaurants and pay for very high price. In the mountains, we can get those ingredients free and eat them very fresh.  

The cuisines which we eat in the mountains while listening to the murmur of the mountain stream is super delicious always.

Keiichi Okushi, Genryu Addict and owner of “Tenkara-ya”