kuko meshi Wolfberry cooked rice


Cooked rice with wolfberries
(kuko meshi, kukomeshi)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Mid-Spring
***** Category: Humanity


wolfsberry クコ【枸杞 kuko 】 Lycium rhombifolium
クコシ【枸杞子 kukoshi 】

The berries are harvested in october, november. The leaves are harvested from April to August.
The young leaves can be eaten as tempura, mixed with rice, with dressing in salad or simmered as ohitashi.

The berries can be soaked in white liquor for about one month, then taken out and let ripen for 2 more months before drinking as aperitif.


Cooked rice with wolfberries
枸杞飯 (くこめし. クコ飯)kuko meshi

The berries are soaked in vinegar for a while before putting them atop of the rice, preferably wild rice or brown rice.

Another possibilitie is to cook the young leaves with the rice.

Wolfberry bushes are often used for hedges. In autumn, they have bright red berries.
These berries are dried and eaten as medicine.

In spring, when the leaves are fresh and green, they are chopped finely and cooked with rice. This is a food of the mountain hamlets and very rare these days.

CLICK for more photos CLICK for more Wolfberry information


is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum (Chinese: 寧夏枸杞) and L. chinense (Chinese: 枸杞; ) two species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco). Although its original habitat is obscure (probably southeastern Europe to southwest Asia), wolfberry species currently grow in many world regions. Only in China, however, is there significant commercial cultivation.

It is also known as Chinese wolfberry, goji berry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke of Argyll's tea tree, or matrimony vine.
Unrelated to the plant's geographic origin, the names Tibetan goji and Himalayan goji are in common use in the health food market for products from this plant.

Wolfberries have long played important roles in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) where they are believed to enhance immune system function, improve eyesight, protect the liver, boost sperm production and improve circulation, among other effects.
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Kuko is on of the ingredients for Chinese medical food, yakuzen ryoori 薬膳料理.
Chinese Medicine (kanpo) and Haiku

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


kigo for mid-spring

kuko 枸杞 (くこ) wolfberry
kuko no me 枸杞の芽(くこのめ)wolfberry buds
kuko tsumu 枸杞摘む(くこつむ)picking wolfberries


kigo for late autumn

kuko no mi 枸杞の実 (くこのみ) berries of wolfberry
..... kuko shi 枸杞子(くこし)
kuko shu 枸杞酒(くこしゅ) ricewine with wolfberries


kuko meshi ya yamakamisama ni gan kakete   

wolfberry leaves rice -
I make a wish to
the God of the Mountain

Asakura Mikiko 朝倉美紀子
Tr. Gabi Greve


enmei to iu kuko meshi o ama ga taku

the nun cooks
rice with wolfberry leaves
to prolong life

Yuge Ryoen (Yuge Ryooen) 湯下量園
Tr. Gabi Greve

Related words

***** Medicine Day

***** Ta no Kami, Yama no Kami.
Deities of the Fields and Mountains

田の神・山の神: God of the Mountain



Gabi Greve said...

Hitachibo Kaison Sennin 常陸坊海尊仙人

Legend from .......................................................................
Fukushima 会津若松市 Aizu Wakamatsu

Kaison is a person from the Heian period, but some say he lived more than 400 years.
In a dream around the year 1588 he saw 天海僧正 Saint Tenkai eating nameshi 菜飯 rice with leaves. Tenkai told him to eat kuko meshi 枸杞飯 rice with wolfberry Lycium rhombifolium.
More than 130 after that a strange old man appeared, called 残月 Zangetsu and talked about the story of Yoshitsune and Hitachibo Kaison.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

奥州の仙人伝説 ― 枸杞に関する仙話
12 legends to explore

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Sennin no shokuji 仙人の食事 Food of the Sennin
The Elixir of Life and Immortality