Stachys affinis - A perennial herbaceous plant with a tuber that's grown as a root vegetable, and treated like a potato from chitting to planting. The tubers are small, convoluted and indented. The thin skin is of a whitish-brown or ivory-white colour, the flesh white and tender. Chinese poets compare it to jade beads. The flavour of the tubers is delicate, & is used as a vegetable or in salads. Once you have established a bed of these you will be able to harvest annually in the autumn as you would your potatoes, leaving a few in so they will self perpetuate. Harvest annually from late October onwards. Priced for: 1 litre pot
Use: You can eat the tubers either raw in salads or even lightly fried in butter or stir-fried in Chinese style dishes where they will make an excellent substitute to water chestnuts. Also great lightly tossed in butter over a slow heat and poured over fish which will appreciate its delicate nutty flavour. In China, they are used primarily for pickling. The tuber is also a part of Osechi which is cooked and used for celebrating Japanese New Year. It is dyed red by the leaves of red Shiso (Perilla) after being pickled and then called Chorogi.