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Mizuna: Kitchen Basics


Fresh light mixed green leaves salad. Lettuce, mizuna, arugula and oakleave lettuce in blue bowl on a table.

Mizuna has a mild and tangy flavor. Toss young mizuna leaves in a mixed salad. Larger leaves—which can have a mustardy or bitter-green tang–are best cooked briefly. Mizuna is sometimes called potherb mustard.

Mix mizuna with other salad greens and mesclun or add shredded mizuna leaves to soups and stir-fries at the end of cooking.

Mizuna has a mild and tangy flavor. Use mizuna as a bed or garnish for meat and fish, grilled seafood, poultry or barbequed pork.

Mizuna is the best spring through summer. It is tender and ready for harvest about 4 weeks after sowing.


How to Select Mizuna

  • Choose mizuna with fresh, bright, fully green leaves.
  • Select leaves without yellowing or drying.

How to Store Mizuna

  • Mizuna will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Rinse and dry the leaves before refrigerating.
  • Wrap them in a paper towel and store them in a plastic bag.

How to Prepare Mizuna

  • Trim a few inches from the base of the plant to separate the stalks; cut them into 1½ inch sections then wash or dunk them in several changes of water and dry.

Mizuna Serving Suggestions

  • Small-leafed mizuna can be served raw. User larger leaves for cooking.
  • Leaves can be cut into short sections and steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or included in soups or one-pot casseroles.
  • Boil or steam mizuna in bite-size pieces.
  • Serve mizuna hot or tepid with olive oil and lemon, sesame oil and shoyu (soy sauce), or pickled ginger.

How to Steam Mizuna

  1. Add a few inches of water to a pot then insert a steamer basket. The water should not touch the bottom of the steamer basket.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  3. Add whole or shredded leaves and cover.
  4. Steam until tender, about 4 or 5 minutes.

How to Boil Mizuna

  1. Shred or cut head in halves or quarters.
  2. Bring a lightly salted pot of water to a boil.
  3. Put leaves in the pot and boil for about 3 to 5 minutes for shredded leaves, about 10 minutes for halves and quarters.
  4. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon and dry on a kitchen towel or a paper-towel-lined plate.

ow to Stir Fry Mizuna

  1. Tear or shred leaves.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok.
  3. Add the leaves and 2 sliced garlic cloves.
  4. Stir-fry until the leaves start to wilt then add a quarter cup or slightly more vegetable stock.
  5. Cover and cook for 3 minutes or until just tender.

How to Sauté Mizuna

  1. Place a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Add thinly sliced, shredded, or small whole leaves and season with soy sauce or salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until the leaves are tender.
Mizuna leaves
Mizuna leaves

More About Mizuna

  • Mizuna is a spring to early summer green from the mustard family. Its leaves are finely dissected and glossy green on long, slender stems. The leaves look something like a dandelion green. Mizuna grows in a rosette to about 9 inches (23 cm) tall and 16 inches (45 cm) wide.
  • Mizuna is native to China but has been grown in Japan for centuries. It is considered one of the Japanese greens along with mibuna and komasuna. Mizuna is sometimes called kyona which means “leaf green from Kyoto”—the Japanese city.

The botanical name for mizuna is Brassica rappa Japonica Group.

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