Crosnes - tachys sieboldii (chorogi [CHAWR-oh-gee] and knotroot)
In Japan Chorogi and also referred to as a Chinese Artichoke where it grows wild in Northern China. The word chorogi means "longevity" and is tuber is considered considered to be a sign of good luck.
The plant is in the mint family but the edible part of the plant are small white tubers. The tubers can be eaten raw as one might a Jeruseleum artichoke (no relation) or cooked like a potato or other starch.
Crosnes as they are called in France were introduced in the late 19th century and named after the village where they were first introduced. Crosnes du Japon was the given name by Paillieux (of Paillieux and Bois, Le Potager d'un curieux, 1882)
How They Are Used - Varied uses include sliced raw and used in salads, pickled, steamed or in stir-frys. Tubers can also be dipped in tempura batter and fried. Crosnes are never peeled.
Chef Charlie Trotter, restaurant "Toque" includes them on his menu Roasted Monkfish Tail on the Bone with Pig's Tail Pieces, Crosnes & Mustard Vinaigrette.
Elizabeth Schneider offers several usages contributed by chefs including:Use pickled Crosnes for Martinis - Chef JohoPink Pickled Chorogi on Black Soybeans - Chef MorimotoMackerel Tartare with Crosnes - Chef Anita LoSee credits section below for book reference.Select and StoreTubers should be pale and firm (not rubbery).
Can be placed in an open basket or container, refrigerated for about a week.
This is the classic French preparation:
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 pound crosnes 4 tablespoons butter Salt, pepper
I N S T R U C T I O N S
Wash the crosnes by soaking them in water and scrub gently with a vegetable brush taking care to get all dirt and sand out of the nooks and crannies. Heat butter over medium-high heat in a heavy pan. Add the crosnes whole, stir, reduce heat and cook for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.