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


Mizuna no jako sarada / mizuna salad with crispy young dried sardines

Crispy jako sauteed in sesame oil is added to edgy citrus-flavored soy sauce softened by dashi, resulting in a rich yet refreshing dressing for fresh mizuna.


Handful mizuna (90 g in photo)
1 tbsp jako (chirimen jako) young dried sardines
1/2 tbsp sesame oil (to saute jako; not in photo)
1 tbsp ponzujoyu citrus-flavored soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dashi ( preferably katsuo-kobu dashi or kobu dashi)


Cut mizuna into 3-4 cm, put in cold water for 5-10 minutes, and drain.


In a small frying pan, toast jako until aromatic.

Add sesame oil, and fry jako until crispy.


Mix ponzujoyu and dashi, add jako with sesame oil, and mix well.


When ready to serve, place mizuna in a bowl, and pour over dressing.

  • If ponzujoyu (aka ponzu) is not available, mix 3 parts soy sauce, 2 parts rice vinegar and 1 part citrus juice (see recipe for homemade ponzujoyu), or simply mix soy sauce and slightly less citrus juice. Use a few kinds of citrus juice for a milder taste.
  • This dressing tastes especially good with leafy greens and crispy, slightly spicy radish-type vegetables. Cubes of tofu are also a nice addition.


Sissi said...

As if you were reading my mind! This morning I have realised I have a "forest" of mizuna on my balcony. I think I must cut it quickly and start a new generation of seeds.
This salad looks extraordinary. I will maybe try it with dried shrimp instead... I have several packages brought from Japan by my friend (I love sakura ebi...). I also love these small sardines (discovered at breakfast buffet in Japanese hotel). Thank you for the wonderful idea.

neco said...

Hi Sissi,
Great! You probably already know this, but you can also pick only larger leaves to let smaller ones grow for a later harvest. Each plant should keep producing leaves and last an entire season this way. Sakura ebi is my favorite ingredient too.

Sissi said...

Thank you for the tip. I grow mizuna for the first time this year and am surprised at how easy it is! For now (fingers crossed) European bugs don't like it, so I hope I will have it for a long time if I pick only big leaves, as you suggest.
I had to throw out a huge bunch of shungiku yesterday. I haven't used it for several days and saw that practically all the leaves were attacked by disgusting animals making tunnels in them (they were stuck to leaves too)... I am now spraying several small plants I saved hoping they will be saved...

neco said...

Hi Sissi,
Yes, mizuna is very easy to grow and tastes great. It grows in winter months too in a mild climate. Too bad about your shungiku. We have cool summer here (temperature below 20C), and bugs do not bother my veggies.But deer has a free access to most of my plants.
I was just thinking, for this salad, olive oil might be a better choice if sakura ebi is used. The toasty aroma of sesame oil, especially the darker one, can be overwhelming.

Sissi said...

Thank you again for the tip.
I haven't made the salad yet, but the leaves urge me to do it.
I'm glad to learn I will be able to harvest it in colder months. Until now only chives, mint and parsley were my 3/4 of the year herbs. The region I live in is normally very mild, even in the winter.