If you’ve ever taken the time to walk through an Asian grocery store, you’ve probably seen a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables that you don’t recognize. There’s also a large assortment of greens, many of which have some similarity to Western greens, while others have their own unique taste and culinary uses.
One such Japanese green is mizuna. It’s a leafy green that is high in nutrition and lends itself well to many different dishes. Its closest comparison in the United States is mustard greens or arugula (in fact, it is also referred to as Japanese mustard greens), and the lettuce-like green boasts a rich, peppery flavor.
Culinary Uses for Mizuna
There are actually more than 15 different varieties of the Japanese mustard greens. You can mix almost all of them with other greens to make flavorful salads. However, they can also be used to flavor and enhance other types of dishes.
For starters, try adding some to a stir-fry dish that is nearly complete. Mixed with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin and other classic Japanese flavors, the vegetables and proteins in your stir-fry will practically be singing with flavor and umami!
Mizuna is a great addition to soups and stews. A garnish or complete addition to miso soup is a no-brainer, but consider adding the Japanese greens to other types of stews as well, such as vegetable or beef stews. The leafy greens will also give a subtle peppery kick to creamy soups.
Mizuna also makes a great side dish. Use it in place of spinach, kale, turnip greens or collard greens. Simply sauté it the way you would any of the above healthy greens, using chicken broth, a bit of soy sauce, some olive oil, or whatever your favorite sauté aid and flavoring agent might be.
And, of course, mizuna can also be added to different pasta dishes, either as a garnish or as a larger part of the meal. Sauté the mizuna with garlic and oil to make a nice sauce for pasta. Add it to alfredo or tomato-based sauces, or mix chopped mizuna with other vegetables for a fantastic pasta primavera!
Health Benefits of Mizuna
Mizuna is very nutritious, containing a good assortment of both vitamins and antioxidants. Vitamins A, C and K help to improve the health of your body. Together with the antioxidants, they significantly reduce the risks of many harmful diseases and maladies.
Some of the major health benefits of mizuna include:
- Helps reduce the risks of various types of cancer and prevent the spread of cancer cells.
- Improves blood flow and ensures the healthy formation of blood clots to promote healing.
- Helps improve the strength and health of your bones.
- Improves the strength of your immune system and reduce the risk of the onset of infections, respiratory conditions or maladies such as pneumonia.
- Improves eye health and reduces the risk of various eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration.
Overall, mizuna is also low-carb and low-calorie, and densely packed with important vitamins and minerals, making it a great regular addition to any diet.