Mizuna is a Japanese mustard green from the family Brassicaceae (species Brassica juncea var. japonica). The weird bitter taste that hits your taste buds after taking a couple of bites of the nicely seasoned mixed salad greens. Although it is odd at first, the flavor is pleasant once you pair the salad with a good seasoning (ex. a thousand island). Then you try to find the source of that remarkable flavor, and after some tries you find out what it is. Nope, not arugula. It is actually mizuna and there is a large group of people who have yet to knowingly experience this mustard green.
The green grows rapidly under hydroponic production, which is basically in an aquatic like environment. Mizuna’s leaves are long, serrated attractive and give a more elegant look to the salads or pastas. I have to stay I was a bit impressed to find this here in Luanda. Every once in a while weird vegetables appear, but the same way they appear, they vanish. I hope the mizuna mustard greens will not be a seasonal thing this time and stay like arugula did.
Funny enough, the taste of mizuna and arugula do resemble a little bit. Both of them are peppery, but mizuna greens are specially bitter and crunchy. Adds a special touch a salads and pastas and broths. The unique flavor of the mustard greens makes the broths, or soups very tasty and unforgettable. It can be eaten raw, pickled, stir-fried and simmered. If you want to learn more about the Mizuna Mustard Greens, check out the following books:
The books above will provide not only information about mizuna mustard greens but also of other vegetables. It will be a great addition to your vegetable knowledge. You will know its origin, how it is produced and to better handle it.
As I mentioned above, mizuna mustard greens are mostly used in salads. Most of the times, we do not experience certain vegetables due to lack of knowledge surround them. Instead sauteeing the greens will provide you with a nice side dish. A simple recipe with mushrooms and shallots will elevate this vegetable to the pedestal. Onions can also be used to sautee the mizuna mustard greens, without a problem. The use of shallots seemed to be much better because it is milder when compared to regular onions. The whole point for it was to tone down the onion element to allow the flavor of the mustard greens to come out crisp and clean.
Sautéed Mizuna, Japanese Collard Greens
- 500 g mizuna mustard greens
- 2 – 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 – 12 shallots, cut Jardiniere style
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves, cut Jardiniere style
- 200 g canned mushrooms
- 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic + salt seasoning
- Black pepper
Remove the yellow leaves of mizuma greens from the bunch. Wash the greens thoroughly with water and drain it afterwards. Cut them as per the picture below.
In a pan, add the olive oil, shallots and garlic. Turn on the stove into medium heat and allow the shallots to golden up.
Add the mizuma mustard greens and the pepper, and let it sautee for at least 10 minutes. Be reminded that the greens will lose their volume as it gets cooked as there will be no air to create the illusion of volume.
Once the volume of the mustard greens have been reduced to the one shown in the picture below, add the canned mushrooms. Distribute them well throughout the greens, and sautee for 2 – 3 minutes. Turn off the stove and serve mizuna mustard greens while warm.
The sautéed mizuna mustard greens are perfect to be paired with grilled beef / chicken for a light dinner. It packs a lot of flavor and change to your weekly menu. You can still maintain a healthy diet by adding this dish as your side dishes. Enjoy it.
Until next time, Hungry People.