Why It Works
- Mizuna easily absorbs any sauce or flavoring you dress or cook it with.
- The entire leaf, including stem, is mild and sweet, so it can be eaten whole.
- The slightly bitter leaf is complemented here by acidic lemon juice and savory fish sauce.
You may have seen mizuna, a member of the mustard family, at Asian and health food markets. Indigenous to Japan, the greens have both a long growing season and a high tolerance for cold weather, which makes them easy to grow.
Mizuna's taste is peppery like arugula and slightly bitter like frisée, yet it's milder and sweeter than either of these more commonly found salad greens. Mizuna is usually not eaten raw in Japan—instead, it's pickled, stir-fried, simmered, and added to hot pot dishes.
With its crisp stalks and beautiful frond-like leaves, mizuna is a wonderful addition to salads, especially where frisée is normally used, such as the classic frisée aux lardon. Mizuna is not only cheaper than frisée, but you can eat the whole thing—the stems are mild and sweet. With frisée, you have to trim the bitter green ends.
When mizuna is sautéed, it retains its juiciness and sops up much of the flavoring liquid you may use, such as stock or soy sauce. Try it with a bit of ponzu or lemon, both of which complement the slight bitterness of the leaves.
1 bunch mizuna, about 10 ounces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 lemon, fresh
Salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon
Freshly ground pepper
Wash and drain mizuna. The greens do not have to be completely dry. Roughly chop into 1-inch segments and set aside.
Place a wide and shallow pan or a wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil.
Add crushed garlic and stir around for 5 or so seconds.
Add greens to wok or pan and sauté for 1 minute, stir around constantly. Mizuna should be softened but still crisp. Add fish sauce and salt and stir around to distribute evenly. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon and freshly ground pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 3 to 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 8g||10%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 21mg||104%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|