"Learn About..." is a recurring post where we'll look at lesser known herbs, greens, etc., and discuss their origin, health benefits, and everything in between!
Sharp, spicy, bright, and gorgeous, mizuna, or Brassica rapa nipposinica, is a cook's dream. It holds a distinct flavor profile, and is one of the most interesting greens around.
While not extremely prevalent in North America, mizuna is a staple vegetable in many Asian countries.
Mizuna is also known as Japanese mustard, shui cai (or "water greens"), California peppergrass, and many other names.
A cross between arugula and mustard, mizuna also has a mild peppery taste. They have feathery serrated edges and have a glossy surface that make the green wonderfully decorative.
The plant is most popular in Japan. In fact, it's a "Kyo yasai," which means it's an heirloom vegetable from the Kyoto region, where the Royal family lived and acted as Japan's national capital during the Edo period.
Carrying a special role in Japanese culture and history, mizuna is used in many Japanese dishes. You'll often find the stalks pickled and served as an appetizer or with beer. The leaves are often eaten with rice.
Thanks to its lush green color and the chlorophyll that comes with it, Mizuna is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as beta carotene.
When it comes to growing, mizuna is one of the lower maintenance greens available. They are extremely tolerant to the cold, meaning they are suitable for regions that have harsher winters.
In an Urban Cultivator, you can grow mizuna 365 days a year!
Only one tablespoon is needed, and only takes about two weeks to grow.
Try mizuna for dinner today with these awesome recipes below!
Pear Noodle, Mizuna, and Spiced Pecans with Parsley Goat Cheese Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne
salt, to taste
½ cup whole pecans
2 pears, Blade C, noodles trimmed
5 cups mizuna greens (or similar green, such as arugula)
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. While preheating, whisk together the honey with the cinnamon, cayenne and season lightly with salt. It should create a paste. Add the pecans into the mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Lay the dressed pecans out on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, flip over and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Let the pecans cool for at least 5 minutes before you use them in the rest of the recipe (they will become less sticky the longer they sit.)
While the pecans are baking, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and mix until vinaigrette is creamy. Set aside.
When pecans are done, place the pear noodles, mizuna greens, and pecans in a large mixing bowl, pour over the dressing and toss to thoroughly combine. Serve.
Feeling something a little more substantial? This stir-fry recipe below from Epicurious features tofu and bok choy!
Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Mizuna and Tofu
3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
3 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
1 14- to 16-ounce container extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 baby bok choy, leaves separated
12 cups loosely packed mizuna (about 8 ounces)
Ingredient info: Mizuna is sold at some supermarkets and at Asian markets
Whisk 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar in bowl.
Stack 2 paper towels on work surface. Cut tofu crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices; cut each slice crosswise in half. Arrange tofu on paper towels and let stand 10 minutes. Pat top of tofu dry.
Heat peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, without moving, until golden brown on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to paper towel to drain, then place tofu on sheet of foil and brush both sides with soy sauce mixture.
Wipe out any peanut oil from skillet. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil and place skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce and 3 teaspoons vinegar, then bok choy. Toss until bok choy wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mizuna in 2 batches, tossing to wilt before adding more, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Season greens with salt and pepper. Add tofu to skillet. Toss gently to blend. Transfer to platter.
Want to grow your own mizuna? Call us at 1-877-352-0490 to get started!
Do you have any tips regarding how to use mizuna? Let us know on our comments section!