Tails

I don’t remember when or what exactly I learned about auspicious cooking in Japan, but I do know not to cut off the tail of any green bean or pea pod. When you prepare them you snap off the top, try and get the tough fiber running along the back, but you are not supposed to touch the “tail” of the bean or pod. That would be considered bad luck, as if you are just asking to shorten your life. You particularly would not want to do it if you had an older person in the house, I imagine. So somehow I can never cut off the tail of a vegetable. Doing it would be engi ga warui, or inauspicious.

Today’s miso soup: It’s all about the green with pea pods and scallions as a garnish. You don’t want to cook green things in the soup pot because they will discolor the broth. I usually cook them separately and then add them in. The exception would be something quick-cooking like baby spinach leaves. Maybe. You can see the heads of the pods on my cutting-board here, but trust me, the tails remain.

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