Udo / 独活 or うど (Aralia cordata)
Udo is a perennial plant native to China, the Korean peninsula, and Japan. The unique aroma, bitterness, and texture of its sprouts have made it a springtime favorite since long ago in Japan. Udo is skinned before it is cooked, but the skin too is eaten in dishes such as kinpira. A vegetable of great versatility, udo is included as an ingredient for salads, tempura, soups, fried dishes, and simmered dishes. When udo is used, it is soaked in vinegar water for about 5 minutes after it is cut to remove most of the bitterness.
Text by Kitchen Nippon