Japanese mustard spinach
Komatsuna is a leafy green also known as Japanese mustard spinach. It is a variety of Brassica rapa, the plant species that yields the turnip, mizuna, napa cabbage, and rapini. The name komatsuna is from the Japanese komatsuna (小松菜?, コマツナ), "greens of Komatsu," a reference to Komatsugawa Village where it was heavily grown during the Edo Period. It is stir-fried, pickled, boiled, and added to soups or used fresh in salads. It is an excellent source of calcium. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komatsuna
Young komatsuna can be eaten raw or cooked. As it matures, it takes on a stronger flavor and is usually better eaten cooked. It can be added to soups, steamed, or stir-fried. You can use it in place of spinach, just keep in mind it has a bit of a kick to it, a bit like a turnip.
Need inspiration on what to do with your komatsuna? Try this recipe! You can also add chicken, tofu, or other meat to make it heartier.
Stir-Fried Komatsuna & Snap Peas
1 large bunch komatsuna, lower stems trimmed
8 oz snow peas
2 rounded Tbsp ginger, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin (sweetened sake)
1 tsp sambal oelek (or a pinch of chili flake and a bit of minced garlic)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add komatsuna and blanch for one minute. Remove komatsuna and drain well.
Heat olive oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add snow peas and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add ginger and mix, then add in the snow peas. Saute for another minute. Whisk together the soy sauce, sambal oelek, sesame oil and vinegar. Combine with veggies and serve.
Soba, Greens, Mushrooms and Tofu in Miso Broth
The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook by Susan Sampson
This dish, with buckwheat noodles, komatsuna and mushrooms in a dark, rich broth, is typical of Japanese soups — wholesome and full of the savory deliciousness known as umami. Although technically a soup, it’s really a meal in itself. Eat the noodles and vegetables with chopsticks, then drink the broth.
8 oz soba noodles
2 tbsp white miso
3 cups vegetable stock, divided
1 cup water
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 to 4 cups chopped komatsuna, loosely packed
6 oz whole shimeji mushrooms
8 oz medium-firm tofu, drained and cut into half-inch cubes
6 small green onions (white and light green parts), slivered
Shichimi togarashi chile blend
1. In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook noodles over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, whisk together miso and 1 cup stock, until combined. Add remaining stock, water, mirin and soy sauce. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Add komatsuna to taste and mushrooms; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, until greens are tender-crisp. Add tofu, cover and heat for about 1 minute, until warmed through.
3. Divide prepared noodles evenly among six large, shallow serving bowls. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out komatsuna, mushroom and tofu mixture and place in bowls. Ladle equal quantities of broth over noodles. Scatter green onions overtop. Sprinkle with togarashi to taste, and serve warm.
Makes 6 servings