Mizuna has a mild and tangy flavor. Use mizuna as a bed or garnish for meat and fish, grilled seafood, poultry or barbequed pork. You will find the flavor of mizuna peppery-fresh but not overpowering.
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.
You can toss young mizuna leaves—which are mild tasting–in a mixed salad. Larger leaves—which can have a mustardy or bitter-green tang–are best cooked briefly. Mizuna is sometimes called pot herb mustard.
Mizuna is best spring through summer. It is tender and ready for harvest about 4 weeks after sowing.
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.
Select. Choose mizuna with fresh, bright, fully green leaves. The leaves can be found both loose or attached at the base in the market. Select leaves without yellowing or drying.
Store. 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.
Prepare. 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.
Serve. Small-leafed mizuna can be served raw. User larger leaves for cooking. Leaves can be cut into short sections and steamed, boiled, stir fired, 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.
The botanical name for mizuna is Brassica rappa Japonica Group.