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Does anyone here speak or read Japanese? Is anyone interested in obscure foods? Answered

I'm trying to find information about preparing "tonburi" or "caviar of the field" from the seeds of the kochia plant (Kochia scoparia), and I can't find any English sources, and can't even parse the Japanese results and then translate them.



Best Answer 7 years ago

They are generally referred to as "land caviar". To prepare them, let the seeds dry, boil them, then drop them into cold water and let them sit for a couple of days. After that, the shells should easily pop off, and presto, tonburi. More information from wikipedia here.

I found the Wikipedia stuff but I was looking for something more specific. Have you prepared it yourself? I was looking for when to gather the seeds, how much water for how many seeds, how long to boil them, and how long to let them sit, etc. Kochia is actually a noxious weed here, and there are acres and acres of it, so I'd like to put it to use.

The seeds should be collected in October or November, and allowed to completely dry. Use enough water to fully cover the seeds, boil them until they soften (10-20 minutes?), quickly place them in cold water and let it sit for a day. It's a noxious weed everywhere, not just where you live. According to some japanese websites, the plant is called houkibi, and only became "food" after people in modern Akita prefecture were on the verge of starvation.

Great! Thanks for your time. Next October or November, I might post an Instructable about it.