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Wasabi and Taro Metallica

Episode: 3
Title: Wasabi and Taro Metallica
Broadcast: 19th September 2015
Presenter: Calinda Anderson

This story will see Calinda introducing us two water plants, the Wasabi and the Taro Metallica. The first thing that comes to mind when mentioned Wasabi is that hot green paste served with sushi, which is usually horseradish with some green food colouring. The Taro Metallica has glossy stems and leaves, not quite as invasive as the standard Taro but certainly a lot more exciting in its colouring.

  • Wasabi is part of the brassica family. The whole plant is edible from the leaves, stem, stalks to the flowers.  The most unusual aspect of this plant is that throughout the year, it needs full shade and over summer it will need absolute shade as it starts to wilt almost immediately when exposed to the sun. So, if you have a fully shaded pond that has never been able to sustain any plants from lack of sun, well this could be a great alternative for you. You can grow it in pots with the water level no higher than the top of the pot, or placed into shallow water running water or in a floating basket.
  • The root, which is really the stem, when freshly grated, gives the true, powerful wasabi flavour. The leaves are deep green and glossy, slightly heart shaped, they are usually used as a micro leaf up to the 3cm size. The leaves can be eaten raw, as a garnish, added to salads and can be used to wrap around fish as a canapé as the leave have the wasabi flavour without the hit of the stems.
  • The delicate flower stems, again all edible and each stem comprise or 6-8 open flowers. They have a milder, honey mustard flavour.  The stalks which are hotter than the leaves but not as hot as the stem can be used as you would with spring onions and they will add crunch to any salad or stir-fry.
  • Taro grows on a runner so it’s always best to keep trimming. As with all Taros they are hardy, but will often look a bit tatty over winter, preferring the warmer season and they can be irritant to the skin so be careful when handling. They are best transplanted as a small plant, but if you need to divide them when they are large, expect them to flop over, so best to cut back hard to right here where the stem starts to split and be a bit patient as they settle and regrow.
  • So here’s two exciting new water plants to try, even if you don’t have a pond, you can always set up a small pot that holds water and give it a go.

Woodvale Fish & Lily Farm: Contact - (08) 9409 9248
Website - http://www.woodvalefishandlilyfarm.com.au

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