Spring is surely coming with Ume (Japanese apricots) blossom and early-bloom sakura blossoms although it's still cold here in my place and Mt. Fuji is covered with snow.
I'll introduce you a hot drink called Kudzu-yu that make you warm, and make you feel like spring is here.
Kudzu-yu is a hot beverage made with Kudzu powder and some sweetener. Kudzu is the name of the plant, and the powder, made from the root, sometimes translated as Japanese arrow root in English. It could be interesting for you to know about the the unique history, method of production and health benefits.
Read about it more from What's Kudzu powder and How to Enjoy It
Kudzu-yu has been taken traditionally at home as a home remedy, especially when we catch a cold or have an indigestion problem. I often take it ,as it works very well, and also makes me warm in the cold weather.
There are many options for toppings, such as ground ginger, Yuzu (Japanese citrus) juice, Matcha, Kinako, Kurogoma, Kuromitsu, etc. I chose salt-pickled sakura blossoms for this recipe.
The Secret of Salt-pickled Sakura Blossoms
Salt-pickled sakura blossoms (桜の塩漬け)
If you ask people what the sakura blossoms smell like, they will tell you how nice the smell is. In fact, the sakura blossom doesn't smell so much as it is.
The nice scent emerges by salt-pickling, and the component of the scent called coumarin resembling the scent of vanilla with a bitter taste. The coumarin makes you relaxed and gives you a good sleep.
As well as enjoying the nice flavor, you can enjoy a nice pink color preserved by salt-pickling.
[ For 1 cup ]
1 tbsp honey or any sweetener, to taste
1-2 salted sakura blossoms ,soaked in cold water for 5-10 minutes to remove salt, and drained the water
Imperial grade Kudzu powder from the maker who has been producing it for more than 300 years, since the Edo period, following the "Yoshinozarashi" process using pure well water.
Salt-pickled Sakura Blossoms
Tomizawa Shoten: Salt-Pickled Sakura Blossoms (Japanese-grown) 桜花の塩漬
You can add them instead of sakura blossoms. Follow the instructions by adding the powder to the pan with the other ingredients.
Kyo no Kanbutsuya: Kinako (Hokkaido-grown soybeans), Kyo no Kanbutsuya 京の乾物屋 北海道産大豆使用 京きな粉
Black Sesame (Kurogoma) Latte Non-Sweetened by Kuki Sangyo KUKI SANGYO
What's Kudzu powder and How to Enjoy It
Japanese Style Chicken in Kudzu Sauce Recipe