This week you’ll see lots of mizuna at farmers markets and in supermarkets. Also called pot herb mustard or Japanese mustard, mizuna is a traditional ingredient in island versions of ozoni or rice cake soup consumed on New Year’s Day by families of Japanese ancestry.
Mizuna has feathery, somewhat spiky dark green leaves and a narrow white stalk. Its crisp flavor is somewhat reminiscent of mustard. Mizuna is often used in soup and stew preparations and in stir-fry mixtures, holding up well but shrinking in volume as it cooks. Buy twice as much as you think you’ll need.
Young mizuna greens are often used in mesclun, adding a nice spice to these salad mixes. Young or mature, mizuna can be eaten raw and is an excellent addition to salads throughout the year.
Hawaii food writer Joan Namkoong offers a weekly tidbit on fresh seasonal products, many of them locally grown. Look for “Fresh Tips” every Wednesday in the Star-Advertiser.