This post, Akebia Quinata Plant Information, is about this versatile vine that is edible, medicinal, ornamental, with a recipe at the end of the post.
Akebia Quinata Plant Information
Akebia quinata is a vine that grows up to 30 feet. It is an evergreen in warm climates and deciduous in cooler climates. It is native to eastern Asia and is hardy in USDA zones 4-10.
It has compound leaves with five leaflets and flowers in May that are purple or white. The fruits are five-inch-long pink or blue skinned fruit that is sausage-shaped which contain edible pulp. They like well-drained sandy loams and full sun to partial shade. Use caution as they can become an invasive species.
I just received two of these vines in the mail tonight. I ordered them from Raintree Nursery. I received the purple rose akebia and the silver bells akebia. These plants will go out at the farm in WV.
The rind is edible, but is slightly bitter. The pulp is edible and makes a tropical tasting clear jelly or flavorful drink. The soft shoots are used in salads or for salt pickling.
If run along the ground, it will root where it touches the ground. Softwood cuttings of 6 inches work well. Seeds can be difficult to germinate. Best luck with seeds involve 1-month cold stratification and surface sow as light helps them germinate.
“The stems are anodyne, antifungal, antiphlogistic, bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative, galactogogue, resolvent, stimulant, stomachic and vulnerary. Taken internally, it controls bacterial and fungal infections and is used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, lack of menstruation, to improve lactation etc. The stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The fruit is antirheumatic, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, stomachic and tonic. It is a popular remedy for cancer. The root is febrifuge.” *
Akebi Pod Miso Itame
- 1 akebi pod (inner fruit removed)
- 2 tablespoons oil (sesame oil is nice)
- 1-2 teaspoon miso paste (same as for miso soup)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons of ryorishu (cooking sake or sake)
- shiso leaf (fresh green shiso leaf) optional
Use at least two teaspoons of Kansai-style sweet miso paste which is light in color. Tohoku style miso is red and saltier and you might want to go easy on the amount if you are using that style of miso. Adjust amount based on the kind of miso you are using and of course your taste.
If you would like to remove some of the bitterness you can soak the pod halves or slices in warm water for 30 to 60 minutes. Pat dry before sauteing.
Mix all the liquid ingredients together in a bowl, dissolving the miso paste and sugar.
Heat a fry pan and add several tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add sliced akebi pod and saute covered until akebi softens, this should take about 2 minutes.
Pour in liquid ingredients, reduce heat and simmer down until little liquid remains. This should take 1 to 2 minutes. Due to the high sugar content, the mixture will quickly burn – don’t allow that to happen. Once the liquid has been reduced, serve on a plate and garnish with chopped shiso leaf.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.