Kudzu Queen ~ Nancy Basket

Had the great priviledge of meeting up with Nancy Basket, of Kudzu Kabin Designs. Nancy holds strong to her Cherokee roots and shares not only general information about kudzu’s ediblity and usefulness, but also weaves kudzu’s story into a Cherokee legend that teaches about right living in the world.

I’ve been having a lot of fun getting to know kudzu (Pueraria lobata) down here in the south. The leaves and root starch powder have made their way into a variety of my dishes; fermented kudzu leaves for kudzu dolmas, kudzu alfredo, kudzu omelette’s, kudzu tempura chips, kudzu cider…and more!

Be sure to watch for my upcoming show, Hot on the Trail with Sunny Savage, on Veria channel 9575 on DISH. We’ve dedicated an entire episode to ‘the vine that ate the south’. One use that has really caught my attention, as well as many in the medical field, is kudzu’s use in the treatment of alcoholism…as well as to decrease alcohol consumption for the person who occasionally partaketh. There are many references to its benefits, and the Harvard Medical School study that got the buzz going, through either PubMed or Highwire.

Kudzu Tempura
1 cup flour of your choice
1 Tbsp kudzu powder (called kuzu powder in stores)
dash salt
1 cup cold water

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Then add water and stir completely to get all lumps out. This will give you a beautiful tempura batter than can be used to fry kudzu leaves themselves…elderflowers…dandelion flowers…etc. I’ve fallen in love with using pecan oil here in the south. It’s a wonderful oil that holds up well in high heat.

2 comments

  1. Great piece on Nancy Basket! I am glad she taught and showed the splitting of the kudzu vine! Kudzu can be used for dental floss from the veins in the leaves, and the leaf can be used for toilet paper on the soft side. What a great plant! The leaf is very sweet. It is related to snow peas, as well as soybeans.

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