Kudzu (pronounce “KooZoo”) is a family of legumes (beans and peas), the starchy property of the root has been used as a thickener in Japanese cooking (you may have seen Kudzu in macrobiotic cooking book and wonder what it is…).
It has been also used as a healing herb in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for helping digestive system. It is also known for its use in treating alcoholism.
Kudzu is rich in isoflavonoid phytoestrogens including geistein and diadzein which have anti-inflammatory property and can protect body from developing cancer (especially hormone related). Kudzu has also been studied to use in treating high blood pressure.
Kudsu as Food:
As I mentioned above, it is like a thickener. Typically in Japanese cuisine, we use to thicken a source, to make sweets (pudding, jello-like texture), and make tea. Kudzu itself does not have much taste, so usually we mix with some other flavour to make a tea. My favourite is putting a tea spoon of Kudzu in a cup with fresh ginger and honey and add boiled water and stir. It becomes little thickened ginger tea! It could be just my cultural background, but it’s so soothing to drink this. This is great for indigestion, warming, and improve circulation.
Here are some other recipes with Kudzu