Finally! Actually, my little crop of mizuna is growing out of control thanks to all this rainy weather lately so I have decided to harvest some of my crop to make Mizuna Salad with a delightful miso dressing. But don’t worry, I will definitely share the recipe with you all.
I’ve been trying to grow some Japanese greens in my Brisbane backyard to bring me a taste of home that I can’t get from the supermarket shelves. I am so pleased to say that some of these emerald gems are ready for me to eat! To be honest, I am not very good at gardening, but I was a little desperate to eat some of my favourite Japanese vegetables such as Shiso (perilla), Shishito (pepper), Mitsuba (Japanese parsley), and Mizuna (brassica).
Varieties like this are quite rare in Australia, and so these leafy greens are difficult to find in the supermarket or from the Asian grocery stores in Brisbane. So, I decided to roll my sleeves up, get my hands dirty, and plant my own delicious garden in my backyard. Recently we had lots of rain here in Brisbane, and my mizuna, red shiso, and mitsuba are growing really well, while the shishito has just started to germinate.
After harvesting, I noticed that I had some radish and miso paste in my fridge, so I decided to make a healthy salad. I love this one as it is super easy and quick to make… perfect for a healthy meal after a busy day at work. The hardest part was picking the leaves I needed from my backyard. As it is quite hard to find these leaves and you might would like to try this miso dressing with some other greens that are fresh and local to your area.
For making the Miso Dressing, I used the Japanese mortar pictured in the above photo. I have seen they are sold at Japanese grocery stores in Brisbane, and also at Daiso. They are a little different from the mortar used here, but you can certainly use this type of mortar instead of the Japanese one with no problems.
I bought this ceramic slicer when I went back to Japan in January 2017. I like it because you can change the thickness of the slices giving you more control over your dish. But you need to be careful not to slice your finger just like I did! Please learn from my mistakes!
As it is quite hard to find these leaves and you might would like to try this miso dressing with some other greens that are fresh and local to your area. For example, a great substitute for mizuna is arugula (or rocket). The amounts needed for the substitution are the same, just to make things easy for you.
You can make this salad completely vegetarian if you like, but I decided to add some tinned tuna for protein. I wanted to use grilled Age but I didn’t have any (FYI. I am not talking about someone’s age! It is pronounced ‘ah-gae’ and is the Japanese term for deep fried, thinly sliced tofu). It would have added a lovely roasted flavour to the dish. You could also replace the tuna with egg, salmon, chicken, or any other protein you like!
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Mizuna salad miso dreesing
- 2 cups Mizuna
- 100 g radish
- 95 g tinned tuna
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
Wash mizuna leaves and cut into about 5 cm lengths.
Wash and slice the radish. Cut large radishes into small matchsticks.
Drain the tinned tuna of any spring water, brine, or oil from the tin, and set aside.
Grind sesame seeds in a mortar.
Add the rest of the dressing ingredients into the mortar and combine.
Toss the mizuna and radish together into a large mixing bowl.
Serve half of the tossed mizuna and radish in a small serving bowl (or all of it into one big bowl if you are really hungry!)
Top with tuna and pour over the miso dressing.
Mizuna can be substituted with arugula leaves.
White or mixed miso is suitable for the dressing.