We first discovered mizuna while searching for an arugula substitute at our local farmers' market. Since then this mildly bitter and peppery green has become a favorite in its own right. Originally cultivated in Japan, mizuna is traditionally pickled, stir-fried, eaten raw in salads, and added to nabemono. The pretty, jagged leaves are peppery and reminiscent of arugula and mustard greens but more mild. The stalks are also quite delicious, crisp, and watery. We're especially fond of this juicy texture in salads, or lightly sautéed in sesame oil and garlic. An interesting recipe for pickled mizuna may be found at The Little Grass Shack.
Look for mizuna at farmers' markets and Japanese grocery stores. Choose a bunch with fresh, unwilted leaves and firm stalks and store it in a bag in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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