Ken Tsuma Karami


Garnish for Sashimi

Sashimi is usually garnished with three condiments:
ken けん, tsuma つま, and karami 辛み, 辛味, 辛み.

These items are arranged behind and below the fish. The most common name is KEN, but the others are now also used.

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KEN contains finely chopped vegetables like radish, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, myoga and udo. The stripes are washed in icewater for a while and then placed on the plate. They function to get rid of the aftertaste before taking a new, different bite. Some also have a desinfectant function or reduce the "raw" taste of raw fish.
These are often piled up in the back, behind the fish pieces.

When they are placed below it, we call it shikizuma 敷きづま.
Ken may therefore also be counted as a kind of TSUMA / zuma.

Vegetables cut in the direction of its fibers are called tateken 縦けん.
Those cut in a right angle to the fibers are called yokoken 横けん.

TSUMA literally" wife", is like a good wife to the taste of the original sashimi. It should support it and enhance it and add to its enjoyment.
It contains a kind of perilla, shiso 穂じそ and others.
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Turnips are also used.
They are "tsuma vegetables" tsuma yasai つま野菜。

aojiso 青紫蘇、akajiso 赤紫蘇、あかじそ buds of green or red perilla
..... aome アオメ buds of green shiso.
..... murame ムラメ buds of red shiso.

bakudaikai 莫大海(ばくだいかい) dry fruit of the Vietnamese oak tree. other dry fruits can be used.

benitade 紅蓼 / tade たで(蓼) smartweed, water pepper
Polygonum hydropiper
The young leaves have a red color.
Also served with tai dishes.

蓼食う虫も好き好き tade kuu mushi mo suki suki
There is no accounting for tastes.

..... tadesu たで酢 vinegar with waterpepper
..... aotade アオタデ green water pepper

boofuu 防風 Chinese herb of the sellery family.
Ledebouriella seseloides Wolff
Its stem has the form of an anchor of a ship, when you cut the stem with a sharp knife and looks pleasing.
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na no hana, nanohana 菜の花, rape flowers
***** Nanohana Rapeseed Dishes

mekanzoo 芽甘草 (めかんぞう) 
buds of special beans, a speciality of Tokushima.

tara no me, young sprouts of tara, たらの木.

Tsuma is also added to soups, wanzuma 椀ずま. They serve to show the season.
Also called wandane、椀種、椀だね.

KARAMI contains wasabi or other "HOT or pungent" items of this kind.

Garnierung für Sashimi

Seaweed and algae are also used for garnish.

funori ふのり ( フノリ) 布海苔 Funori-Rotalge
Gloiopeltis frucata
General name for red algae (koosoo 紅藻).
海蘿 . 鹿角菜
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
also called "glue plant"


green perilla, aojiso 青紫蘇 green beefsteak plant
Perilla frutescens  (ao shiso)

kigo for all spring

shiso no me 紫蘇の芽 (しそのめ) perilla buds
mejiso 芽紫蘇(めじそ)

kigo for summer
It gives food a special taste and prevents fast rotting in summer.
P. frutescens var. crispa f. crispa (チリメンジソ chirimenjiso)
Zum Sashimi und Tempura gegessen. Auch "grosses Blatt" ooba 大葉(おおば) genannt.

The name comes from a Chinese legend.
Once there was a boy with food poisoning. He drank some liquid made from boiled red shiso leaves and came back (蘇, yomigaeru )from the dead (shi).

fruit of the perilla, shiso no mi, 紫蘇の実 (しそのみ)
kigo for mid-autumn
hojiso 穂紫蘇(ほじそ)

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Perilla frutescens ist eine aus dem asiatischen Raum stammende Heil- und Gewürzpflanze, die dort vor allem als Lebensmittel, aber auch wegen ihrer gesundheitsfördernden Eigenschaften geschätzt wird. Perilla wird zur Zubereitung von Fisch- und Fleischgerichten sowie als Beigabe zu Gemüse verwendet. In der traditionellen chinesischen Medizin wird Perilla seit Jahrhunderten als schleimlösendes Husten- und Asthmamittel angewandt.
Neben ihren gesundheitlichen Wirkungen ist Perilla frutescens wegen ihres zitronenartigen, süßlichen Geschmacks aber auch eine interessante Bereicherung für die moderne Küche. Die Pflanze kann ähnlich vielfältig wie Basilikum verwendet werden.
source :  www.ernaehrungs-umschau.de

frische Bio-Shiso-Blätter auch Perilla genannt:
source : /schwarzwald.markt.de

akajiso 赤紫蘇 あかじそ
red perilla, purple perilla

P. frutescens var. crispa f. purpurea . (aka shiso)
to prepare umeboshi pickled plums. Dried leaves are added to shichimi toogarashi hot pepper mix in Kyoto. Also in furikake.

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Die Blätter sind ein orientalisches Gewürz und werden wie Petersilie verwendet.
source : www.biosaatgut.eu / Pflanzenverkauf

akajisosu 赤紫蘇酢 (しそす) red perilla vinegar
Diluted as a summer drink or as dressing for salads.
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egoma 荏胡麻 kind of perilla
Perilla frutescens Britton var. japonica Hara
It smells quite different from shiso Perilla.
The seeds are often used to make egoma oil 荏胡麻油.
The leaves are eaten as a vegetable. Since it grows like a weed, it was very useful for farmers of old times to get over times of famine.
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. yudan taiteki 油断大敵 Do not be inattentive. .
and the oil from egoma !

shiso grows so
and grows so and grows so...
in my garden

- Shared by Pat Geyer -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013


Myoga Ginger (myooga) 茗荷 (みょうが)


Udo 独活(うど), Aralia cordata,
Japanese Spikenard

a mountain plant which produces fat, white, edible stalks.
Its tender stalks are similar to asparagus, their flavor is a light fennel. Udo cen be used raw in salads or slightly cooked in soups and other dishes.
Udo from Edo

udo ae 独活和 (うどあえ) spikenard in dressing
kigo for late spring

Moyashi 萌やし、糵, もやし bean sprouts of various types
udo moyashi, kigo for spring

udo no hana 独活の花 (うどのはな) Udo flowers
kigo for late summer

yuki ma yori usu murasaki no me udo kana

between patches of snow
the light purple
of aralia buds . . .

Written after 1688 貞亨元年, Basho around 41 to 51.
The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

yuki is a kigo for winter,
the buds of aralia are a harbinger of spring.

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


kigo o sashimi to TSUMA to shite tsukau

Use KIGO as if they were the tsuma of a sashimi.

Some advise of Japanese haiku teachers.

Related words

kigo for all summer

***** hiyu 莧 (ひゆ) Hiyu
..... hiyuu ひょう、hyuuna ひょうな
akahiyu 、赤莧(あかひゆ)red Hiyu
murasaki hiyu 紫莧(むらさきひゆ)purple Hiyu
hana hiyu 花莧(はなひゆ)Hiyu flowers
inuhiyu 犬莧(いぬひゆ)"dog Hiyu"
Amarantus inamoenus
plants of the family Amaranthaceae


. Ginger, Ingwer (jinjaa, shooga 生姜 ) .

. tade 蓼 (たで) smartweed, water pepper
and related KIGO

Yakumi やくみ (薬味) spices and condiments

Togarashi, toogarashi 唐辛子 red hot pepper




Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

yuki ma yori / usu murasaki no / me udo kana

Matsuo Basho

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Edo / Tokyo Ebara 荏原郡 district / 武州荏原 Bushu, Ebara

This was a farming region, mostly for egoma 荏胡麻 a kind of perilla.
egoma no hara . . . ehara . . . Ebara.
In 1927, the village 荏原町 Ebara Machi was founded.
Ebaramachi station is in 5-2-1 Nakanobu, Shinagawa, Tokyo.
The parts of Ebara now are located in Shinagawa, Ota, Meguro and Setagaya ward.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Udo 独活(うど), Aralia cordata,
Japanese Spikenard

3 legends to explore