Rice Ball Wrapped with Chard

Why chard, also known as Swiss chard, is so vividly colorful?

Although chard is commonly called “Suisuchado” in Japanese, related to Swiss chard, its Japanese formal name is “Hudanso” written 不断草 literally “ceaseless vegetable”.

Fudanso, Swiss chard
Stem of chard has bright coloration such as red, yellow, orange, pink, white, and these color remain vivid even after cooked.  (The photos below are chard that was cooked in boiling water for a few minutes.)  Many vegetables loose the bright color by cooking.  One of typical example is eggplant, its purple color is lost by cooking in boiling water because it has soluble anthocyanin.
Fudanso, Swiss chard
Fudanso, Swiss chard

The pigment of chard is betalain that is different from anthocyanin or carotene.  There are two kinds as follows.

  • Betacyanin                from red to purple
  • Betaxanthin               from yellow to orange

The difference of these proportion create a variety of colors.
Flowers of caryophyllales, such as moss-rose purslane and mirabilis jalapa, have the same pigment.

Betalain pigment
Fudanso, Boiled Swiss chard
Betaxanthin’s yellow
Fudanso, Boiled Swiss chard
Betaxanthin’s orange
Fudanso, Boiled Swiss chard
Betacyanin’s light pink
Fudanso, Boiled Swiss chard
Betacyanin’s pink
Fudanso, Boiled Swiss chard

 

Today I make rice balls wrapped with chard leaves. (4 wrapped and 4 non-wrapped balls)

  1. Cut chard (4 pieces) into stem and leaf, and cook them in boiling water. (stem for two or three minutes, leaf for one minutes)
  2. Drain and cool them.
  3. Chop stem finely and season with soy-sauce (1/2 tbs) and mushed umeboshi ( 1 piece).
  4. Soak leaves in condiment of soy-sauce (3 tbs) *light “usukuchi” recommended and dashi broth (3 tbs) for 1-2 hours.
  5. Cooking of Rice Ball Wrapped with Chard
    Cooking of Rice Ball Wrapped with Chard
    Cooking of Rice Ball Wrapped with Chard
    Cooking of Rice Ball Wrapped with Chard
  6. Mix fresh cooked rice (2 cups) with chopped stems, after drain firmly.
  7. Make rice ball.  *Moisten your hands with water and put salt in hands.
  8. Wrap rice ball with leave.

 

Itadakimasu!

Rice Ball Wrapped with Chard

・Suisuchado / Fudanso
is a chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla (L.) K.Koch), also known as Swiss chard スイスチャード(すいすちゃーど) related to Swiss chard / 不断草(ふだんそう) literally “ceaseless vegetable”