Sansai

Edible Wild Plants

Edible wild plants are widely loved in Japan as they mark the advent of spring. Common examples of sansai include fuki (butterbur), whose scape and leafstalk are used for simmered dishes and soups, and udo, which has a soft edible stalk and belongs to the ginseng family. Two more examples are warabi, the shoot of a kind of fern, and zenmai, another edible fern with distinctive coiled leaves. These vegetables are used in the making of many traditional dishes.