Japanese Mustard Spinach
A leafy green with a mild mustard taste, Komatsuna is commonly called Japanese Mustard Spinach. Widely used instil-fries the young leaves are also picked for salad greens.
This is a fast growing plant and can be sown in spring and a gain in autumn. The leaves develop a stronger taste as they mature.
How to grow Mustard Spinach
- Best grown from seeds which will germinate in around 10 – 5 days, plants should be spaced at around 30cm apart as they are tall growing.
- A sunny position in a humus rich moist soil is best, provide some afternoon shade in warmer climates.
- Plants are ready for harvesting in around 30 – 40 days. Young leaves for salad can be picked earlier if required.
Cooking and Eating
When cooking, steam or braise lightly add a little soy, chilli sauce, sesame oil or whatever seasoning you like and eat it as a side dish. Combine it with rice, shredded chicken or beef for a quick lunchtime meal.
Komatsuna has slight mustardy taste, however not strong. The texture is crunchy when fresh and the new leaves can be used in salads. Older leaves are usually used in stir fries.
On of the great things about Komatsuna is that it can be harvested at any time once the leaves are large enough. Take a few outer leaves as needed and it will reshoot from the centre.
A number of different types are available and the red leafed ones are the spiciest of them all. And these are interesting as they are spicier raw than they are cooked.
You can eat the fwers and seed pods when they are fresh as well. If you let the ses form and dry you can either let them self seed or collect them for sowing the next year.