General Discussion

Culinary Kudzu – who knew?

rworange | Jan 18, 200712:17 AM     22

Looking for something else, I discovered that kudzu is edible ... every part of it.

Also it is supposed to be good for a hangover or settling an upset stomach.

I had a chayote go wild in my backyard this year, so I have certain empathy for taking revenge by eating as much of an aggressive plant as possible.

Kudzu is low in fat and supposedly has lots of nutrients, but I didn’t see what those were exactly ... well, the root is a good source of iron with a little calcium and phosphorus.

This link says that it can be used like lettuce ...

“It has a normal leafy green flavor and could easily be used as a salad item ... no after-taste, no bitterness, your basic lettuce substitute”

The deep-fried leaves are supposed to be like potato chips.

Someone said that cooked it tastes like collard or Swiss chard and a tea made from it tastes like potliquor ... the water vegetables are boiled in.

There’s a warning that kudzu looks like poison ivy ... so make sure what is being consumed is in fact kudzu.

A powder is made from the roots is supposed to be better than cornstarch because kudzu powder gives a smooth texture without a starchy taste

There’s even a cookbook called Kudzu Cuisine.

The link to the table of contents tells how to select and harvest in order to make dishes like:

Chicken Soup with Kudzu Sprouts, Kudzu Flower Fritters, Crystallized Kudzu Blossoms, Kudzu Blossom Spread, Kudzu Blossom Ice Cream, Kudzu Blossom Syrup, Kudzu Blossom Vinegar, Curried Carrots with Kudzu Blossoms

... yeah, I'm bored with squash blossoms, bring on the kudzu.

There are also recipes for wine, cake, pie, cookies, bread, salad, noodles, relish, mochi, beverages, meat loaf, chili ... and much, much more.

The leaves are supposed to be good for stuffing like grape leaves.

This link to an annual Kudzu festival has food like ...
BBQ Kudzu Sandwich
Hot Kudzu Dog
Baked Kudzu Leaftips
Iced Kudzu Tea

It also says how to prepare kudzu stems ... a little beer in the water will give the stems extra tartness ... also a glass of beer pairs well with kudzu.

This link doesn’t seem thrilled about the taste of kudzu but mentions it at the very least saved people from famine in Japan

In addition to the culinary uses it mentions a study about alcoholism where hamsters that preferred booze to water (and don’t many of us) were given kudzu and cut their alcohol consumption in half ... and ...

“The study also noted that the kudzu root extract also resulted in reduced effects of hangovers, as well as improving the motor skills of the drunk hamsters.”

Motor skills? Hamsters can drive in the South?

A few on-line uses of kudzu

Pretty picture of kudzu blossom jelly
Kudzu quiche
stuffed kudzu leaves, kudzu fried chicken
Pork tenderloin with kudzu salsa

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