Now playing: Metal Fingers - Mugwort
Another visit to the local Asian market led to the discovery of Yomogi. A herb used through many cultures. Yomogi is the Japanese word for this herb and is used to flavour plenty of dishes. Mugwort, or Felon herb in English, this plant was once used in place of hops as an aromatic for beer making in the British Isles. In Germany it is used to make Christmas goose, or other fatty birds, such as duck.
This is the Yomogi in front of the Asian market. It spreads quickly and grows like a weed in some areas.
Here the leaves are soaking waiting to be boiled in water with baking soda. Squeeze out the excess water and process into a paste. This paste can then be dried and used later. Here is a link that includes drying hints:
The recipe to follow can be made with fresh paste, or dried. Dried Yomogi can also be bought in some Asian markets.
Kusamochi with Raspberries
30g fresh yomogi leaves, (processed as above)
150g rice flour
100ml hot water
200g anko (red bean paste)
30g soybean powder
Put the hot water with the rice flour and sugar into a microwave-safe bowl. Mix well until it becomes soft. Cover and microwave it for 5 to 10 min., until slightly transparent. Knead the dough together with the yomogi, until smooth. Roll into balls and fill with anko and a raspberry. Roll in soybean powder. Makes a dozen.
I also made Yomogi noodles with buckwheat flour. This will be used for a cold noodle salad tomorrow!
2 c. buckwheat flour
1 c. flour
1/2 c. fresh yomogi paste
water to bring to right consistency
Mix until smooth.
Process in a pasta machine. Use plenty of extra flour to prevent stickiness and cling film to keep it from drying out as you are working the dough.
Artemisia vulgaris- Mugwort which is related to Chrysanthemum is also used medicinally. It is said to induce lucid dreams and help insomnia. It was used in Druid medicine frequently for this effect. Mugwort can be used to kill parasitic worms. The herb has been used to ease menstrual pain, help in childbirth and increase appetite. Pregnant women should use great care when ingesting mugwort, consult a doctor. Everyone should watch the levels they ingest as too much thujone (a chemical component of absinthe) is toxic. Mugwort is said to ease muscle fatigue and bath solutions are available. Romans used the leaves in their sandles to ease foot fatigue, I thought I would try it out:
Will let you know how well it worked. ;-)
I also soaked in some in a bath, it smelled nice and I was relaxed.....