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What Is Mitsuba and How Is It Used?

What Is Mitsuba?

Mitsuba is a perennial plant native to Japan, and also called Japanese parsley.

The Japanese term “mitsuba” literally means “3 leaves” in Japanese. It is called like this because mitsuba actually has 3 leaves on each stem.

Stems and leaves are edible, and they are known as a flavored vegetable with a refreshing scent.

Great thing about mitsuba is that it’s a vegetable rich in β-carotene.

What Does Mitsuba Taste Like?

Stems and leaves of mitsuba are not hard at all and easy to eat. It doesn’t have bitter taste, but has very unique scent. Since the smell is very refreshing, it’s going to be great topping for various dishes.

How Is Mitsuba Used?

Use As A Topping

Putting a tiny piece of mitsuba on the dish as a topping is extremely popular in Japan.
The refreshing scent of mitsuba has a strong presence even in small quantities. It can bring out the flavor of the dish well.

Especially for the following dishes:

Oyakodon (Bowl of rice with chicken and eggs)

Katsudon (Bowl of rice with pork cutlet and eggs)

Chawanmushi (A savory steamed egg custard with assorted ingredients)

Sui-mono (Japanese style clear soup)

Use As An Ingredient

Mitsuba has a nice fragrance, so it is recommended to boil it as quickly as possible or eat it raw.

Here are some examples of mitsuba dishes:

Ohitashi

Ohitashi is a side dish of boiled seasoned vegetables. Lightly boiled mitsuba mixed with soy sauce and dried bonito shavings is simple but very tasty.

Tempura

Mitsuba matches so well with the crispy tempura batter!

It is sometimes put in kakiage tempura (mixed-vegetable tempura). Although the scent is inferior to the raw mitsuba, it can still add a refreshing scent to the tempura.

You can also make tempura with mitsuba alone. In that case, you can feel the flavor of mitsuba more strongly.

Salad

The boiled mitsuba is tasty, but the raw mitsuba in salad is also great. You can enjoy a little crunchy texture of mitsuba and fresh scent of it. Please mix it with other vegetables and eat it with your favorite dressing.

How Do You Store Mitsuba?

Mitsuba won’t last long, so let’s use it up early.

It is better to put it in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator after wrapping it in newspaper etc.
You should probably moisten the newspaper a little to prevent mitsuba from drying out. Moreover, it’s a good idea to cover the roots with moistened paper towel.

If you are using a container, please put the cut mitsuba in a storage container lined with moistened paper towel.

In either case, please use up all in 3-4 days as a guide. Mitsuba loses flavor when it dries.

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