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Konnyaku aka devil's tongue (wtf?!?) is a gelatinous mold that is often found in Japanese cuisine, in dishes such as nimono (stewed vegetables and meats), oden (fish cake stew). The grey, rubbery slab that you find for a $1 next to the tofu in any Japanese market, is freckled with black dots. It is said in Japan that konnyaku is very good for you, and that it lowers blood pressure. (Although they say that about everything in Japan. When all else fails, it will lower your blood pressure).

Pictured above is the root vegetable from which konnyaku derives. The sight of this, in Nagano, absolutely floored me. Truth is that konnyaku actually tastes a little fishy, so you one would assume that it is a kelp-based product. But no! It is this huge pumpkin-like object with a long, pointy, pale pink stem for a handle.

Definitely one of the more grotesque, but strangely alluring, vegetables I have seen in a while.

1 comment

  • I love konnyaku because I love jello-y things (agar-agar stuff, dotorimuk/Korean acorn jelly), but konnyaku gets extra points because of the speckles and its similarity to a gemstone that I like- labradorite! I had NO idea it’s original state looks like that with a crazy handle. WOW

    chungy on

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