Mitsuba plant known as Japanese Parsley

Mitsuba Japanese Parsley

Mitsuba is a plant known as Japanese Parsley. The meaning behind the name Mitsuba, the plant, has “three leaves”. It’s grown in Japan for its interesting shape leaves that are flavoursome.

Mitsuba Japanese Parsley
Mitsuba Japanese Parsley

Product Description

When you first see this plant, it looks similar to the flat-leaf parsley, beautiful green shaped leaves that look like the tops of celery, and has the flavour similar to parsley.

It has tall, stems that are skinny with three trefoil leaves, which are large and look similar to Italian parsley.

When it starts to grow, the plant colour has light green then as it ages it turns a darker green.

Family: Apiaceae

Name: Cryptotaenia japonica

Other known names associated with Mitsuba:

  • Wild Japanese Parsley
  • Purple leaf wild Japanese parsley
  • Japanese honewort

History of Mitsuba

  • Native to Japan
  • Grows wild in woodland habitat
  • Grow to 3 feet high
  • Grows in China, Korea and other Asian countries.
  • Wild honewort has a plant related to Mitsuba and used by Native Americans.

There has an Illustration which I cited in the Japanese agricultural encyclopedia Seikei Zusetsu (1804)

What does Mitsuba taste like?

All parts of the plant are edible. Mitsuba has a flavour similar to parsley but also more subtle. Depending on your taste buds you probably can taste parsley, celery and cilantro. It can have a bitter taste when cooked; therefore, it is ideal for cutting the leaves and stems fresh.

Stems can also be used in culinary dishes, they are tender and succulent.

Mitsuba herb Seeds

The seeds of Mitsuba are also edible,

Mitsuba the Root

The root of the Mitsuba is edible too.

How do you grow Mitsuba in an AeroGarden?

Normally, Mitsuba is grown outdoors as a perennial in mild climates, in a moist shady area, where it doesn’t get a lot of sun; which can cause the leaves to turn yellow. Because it grows best in partial shade or amongst taller plants and trees, it is an ideal plant for your AeroGarden. Furthermore, it’s not cold tolerant, and if the temperature is too low, the leaves can curl up and if the temperature is too hot, it will bolt. It likes to be in a mild climate.

You can purchase this Asian herb through AeroGarden as Asian Herbs Seed Pod Kit (9 or 7-Pod). Mitsuba can be grown all year round indoors in your system with no mess, dirt-free!

The seeds in the kit

AeroGarden says that all their seeds are of the highest quality. They

  • select seeds that have been tested
  • have maximum growth, colour and yield
  • are Non-GMO Germination Guarantee
  • will provide free replacement if a pod doesn’t germinate
  • use Canadian Sphagnum Peat for the seeds

Seed Pod Kit includes other herbs besides Mitsuba such as

  • Holy Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Thai basil, Shungiku and Mint
  • Liquid plant food that has specially formulated
  • Grow domes
  • Step by step instruction.

Harvesting

  • Cut when 6-8 inches tall or even smaller
  • Reseeds after flowering, so don’t let it flower unless you want to save the seeds
  • Prune level so new stems will grow

Benefits of Mitsuba

Nutritional Facts of Mitsuba

High in potassium, calcium, vitamin C and carotene. 100 grams of Mitsuba leaves:

  • Vitamin B6, B2, B1
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Iron
  • Retinol
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin K

Medicinal or Health Benefits of Mitsuba

  • Treat colds
  • Fever
  • Haemorrhages
  • Stress relief agent

Even though there are no known side effects from eating Mitsuba, however, doctors’ advice is to not consume during pregnancy.

How to Use Mitsuba in culinary dishes

Mitsuba has used as a herb or vegetable in Japanese and Chinese cuisine but can also be used with any meal as a garnish and be added to

  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Stir-fries
  • Use roots and leaves as a Vegetable
  • Parsley

Some popular dishes that Mitsuba has added to include:

  • ‘Chawan Mushi’
  • Sukiyaki
  • Sushi
  • Chicken Katsudon
  • Grilled littleneck clams
  • Marinated halibut
  • Ozoni
  • Chilled salmon
  • Grilled salmon

Mitsuba Products

  • Flower arrangements
  • Stems are arranged to bring good luck

Mitsuba Substitute

If you’ve run out of Mitsuba when cooking your delicious meal, you can replace it with

  • Cilantro
  • Arugula
  • Watercress
  • Celery leaves
  • Angelica
  • Or a combination of herbs such as Chervil Italian parsley and arugula

However, the taste will be different.

Can Mitsuba be stored?

It’s more ideal for eating Mitsuba fresh; however, it can be stored for about a week in the fridge. 

Conclusion

As described, Mitsuba has similar to the flat-leaf parsley and celery leaves. The plant was probably used much earlier than 1804 when it was first recorded in Seikei Zusetsu Japanese agricultural encyclopedia (1804).

What I find most interesting is, no wastage, every part of the plant can be eaten, from the leaves, stems, roots and the seeds.

Growing this plant in an AeroGarden, no problems at all, you follow the step by step guide that comes with the seed pod kit, which also includes other popular Asian herbs.

Mitsuba has nutritional and health benefits. You can add this herb to any of your favourite recipes, or you can add the leaves as a backdrop to your flower arrangements for the table.

== If your want to know more about Awesome Herbs for your AeroGarden, click here==

If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.

Japanese Parsley
Mitsuba

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