Japanese leek (edible plant, Allium bakeri, Allium chinese) (ラッキョウ)

Japanese leek (scientific name: Allium chinese syn. Allium bakeri) is herbaceous perennial as well as a vegetable which belongs to liliaceae (or alliaceae). It is also called "oonira" or "satonira."

Its place of origin is Himalayan region, China. Its white or purplish bulbs are used for food.

It has unique strong smell and a pungent taste. This smell comes from allylic compound as same as garlic and Chinese chive.

It is mainly eaten pickled in salt, sweetened vinegar, or soy sauce. It is popular as a relish of curry and rice, along with Fukujinzuke (sliced vegetables pickled in soy sauce). It is said to have many medical properties.

It is a special product of Tottori Prefecture (Tottori Sand Dune) and Fukui Prefecture (Sanrihama Sand Dune).
In Okinawa Prefecture, they have smaller and thinner kind of Japanese leek compared to the common variety, which is called 'Shima-rakkyo' (Okinawan shallots) or 'Daccho.'
It has stronger pungent taste like green onion compared to common Japanese leek, and is eaten pickled in salt and sprinkled dried bonito.

Its bulbs have a name as a crude drug, "Gaihaku." In traditional Chinese medicine, it is said to have effects for heavy stomach, knot or pain in the chest, etc.

Variety of Chinese Medicine Which Contains Gaihaku




[Original Japanese]