Komatsuna Mustard Greens
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Komatsuna has long, slender stems with large, bright green spoon-shaped leaves. It may be harvested as a micro green, a fully mature leaf and even after the flowering head develops. The leaves become a deeper green color as the plant ages and its delicate stems grow wide, coarse and pale in color. In its young state, Komatsuna is tender and delicate with a sweet flavor and mild mustard bite. Larger leaves develop a more fibrous, hardy texture with an assertive crunch and a peppery mustard finish.
Komatsuna is available year-round, with peak season fall through spring.
Komatsuna, botanically known as Brassica rapa var perviridis, is also commonly referred to as tendergreen or Japanese mustard spinach. Although not a true spinach, Komatsuna is from the mustard family and is a relative of turnips, cabbage, rapini and bok choy. It is almost exclusively grown in Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam where it is often pickled and known as cai chua. Komatsuna gets its name from the Komatsugawa district of Japan
Komatsuna leaves are nutrient dense and rich in beta carotene, calcium and Vitamins A, B2, C, K. Like other members of the Brassica family, it is prized for its potential cancer fighting effects from the presence of glucosinolates.
Komatsuna has a wide range of cooking applications dictated by the leaf's maturity upon harvest. When young, the leaves are very tender and can be used raw in salads and spring rolls or lightly sautéed in stir fries and wilted in pasta dishes. As the plant grows, the stems develop a hardier texture and require longer cooking times to become tender. Fully mature Komatsuna may be preserved as a pickled vegetable and is also fantastic added into soups and stews or braised with aromatics such as ginger, garlic and scallion. Other complimentary flavors include,tuna, shrimp, salmon, crab, ham, smoked meats, sesame, soy, rice wine vinegar, mirin, miso, lemon, chili peppers and cream.
Komatsuna is a common staple in the Japanese diet.
Komatsuna spinach has been grown and incorporated into Japanese culture for centuries. It made its North American debut in 1930 but never become a very popular choice on American plates. It is a cool weather crop, but can still tolerate the heat of summer and is often grown year-round in temperate and subtropical climates.
Recipes that include Komatsuna Mustard Greens. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Ill Make it Myself||Komatsuna and Chicken Stir-Fry|
|Mixer Upper||Komatsuna no Goma-Ae|
|White on Rice Couple||Garlicky Winter Greens and Chickpea Salad|