Myōga (茗荷) Japanese ginger or myoga ginger is the species Zingiber mioga in the Zingiberaceae family. It is an herbaceous, deciduous, perennial native to Japan and southern part of Korea.
Only its edible flower buds and flavourful shoots are used in cooking. Flower buds are finely shredded and used in Japanese cuisine as a garnish for miso soup, sunomono and dishes such as roasted eggplant. In Korean cuisine, flower buds are skewered alternately with pieces of meat and then are pan-fried.
A traditional crop in Japan, myōga has been introduced to cultivation in Australia and New Zealand for export to the Japanese market.
As a woodland plant, myoga has specific shade requirements for its growth. It is frost-tolerant to -18°C (0°F), possibly colder. Myoga is easy to grow and vigorous in ideal environments. In nature Myoga is a deciduous herbaceous perennial dieing back to ground level in winter, and performs best in a moist soil under dappled light from overhanging trees, but any semi-shaded site is suitable. Flower buds are harvested in late summer and leaf shoots in spring.
Availability and Substitution in Australia
- Can be available at Asian markets
- There is no real substitute for Myoga however you might like to try Torch Ginger Bud
- Can be grown in Australia