Udo vegetable an early herald of spring

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Koichiro Narukawa, a farmer in Hidaka, Saitama Prefecture, harvests udo vegetable stalks, a symbol of spring’s arrival in Japanese cuisine, in an underground cellar called a muro. Narukawa began growing the udo in a field before transplanting the shoots to the muro, which measures four meters on each side. Pale udo raised in a sunless muro tastes less bitter than aboveground varieties. Udo harvested in the area is sold at supermarkets in the Tokyo metropolitan area and beyond. With its crispy texture, udo is frequently cooked as tempura or added to salads. The harvest of the vegetable typically continues through early April.