All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.



Chryptotaenia japonica

Mitsuba is sometimes referred to as Japanese parsley. For me, it is similar to Chinese celery but milder in terms of both taste and aroma, and having a slight bitterness. As the name implies, mitsuba has three leaves as well as leggy stems, which also have a distinctive aroma even after being cooked. It is mostly used raw as a garnish, just like parsley, and cooked just like any other leafy greens. It also functions as a handy string to tie packets such as kinchakuzushi and little stacked-up finger foods or appetizers. While mitsuba is eaten for its distinctive aroma (from such substances as cryptotaenene and mitsubaene – some disagree about these substances), it is also rich in Vitamin C (8-22 mg/100 g), carotene (730-3200 μg), calcium (25-52 mg), potassium (500-640 mg) and iron (0.3-1.8 mg). It is said to be beneficial for prevention of anemia, lifestyle diseases, beauty care (smooth skin), stress relief and to put you in a calm mood. Its season is winter, although it is available all year round at stores.

Depending on cultivation method and how it's sold, three types of mitsuba are commercially available. One is hydroponically cultivated ito-mitsuba [thread mitsuba] with particularly leggy stems. It comes with a small sponge for the root, and is probably the most widely available among the three types. The other two are ne-mitsuba [root mitsuba] and kiri-mitsuba [cut mitsuba], and they are both grown by blocking exposure to the sun, like white asparagus (for the stems) . (In terms of nutritional content listed above, ito-mitsuba is the highest in potassium and the lowest in other nutrients.)

Ito-mitsuba: 13 kcal/100 g; 94.6% water, 0.9% protein, 0.1% fat, 2.9% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash
Ne-mitsuba: 20 kcal/100 g; 92.7% water, 1.9% protein, 0.1% fat, 4.1% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash
Kiri-mitsuba: 18 kcal/100 g; 93.8% water, 1.0% protein, 0.1% fat, 4.0% carbohydrate, 1.1% ash

Recipes with mitsuba

Try mitsuba in the following recipes

(Last updated: January 9, 2019)

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