Manor Farm Herbs
Manor Farm
Oxfordshire OX27 8DP

Japanese Parsley - Mitsuba

Cryptotaenia japonica

30cm (12in)
Suitable for:
Rich moist soil in the sun.
Japanese Parsley - Mitsuba: Cryptotaenia japonica

In its native country Japanese parsley is added to simmered dishes (nabemono), and steamed dishes (chawan mushi), it is also used in green salads and stir fries. As the leaves are soft and aromatic they should always be added at the last moment for maximum flavour.

Some other ideas

~ The stalks can be tied in a loose knot, dipped in batter and deep fried as tempura.
~The lightly steamed leaves can be served as a cold vegetable sprinkled with a little soy sauce.
~ The flavour of the leaves is light and summery, and they make a lovely cold summer soup.

Mitsuba and cucumber soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • seasoning
  • 50g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ large cucumber
  • 2 tbls double cream
  • 1 heaped tsp flour
  • 8 tbls Japanese parsley (Mitsuba)
  • 1½ litres vegetable stock
  •   plus extra for garnish

Melt the butter and gently cook the onion for 5 minutes, then add the peeled and diced cucumber and continue to cook for another 5 minutes but do not allow the vegetables to brown. Stir in the flour, followed by 1 litre of the stock and simmer for 15 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender and add the remaining stock, season to taste.

Beat together the egg yolks and cream with a little of the hot soup. Reheat the rest of the soup and add the egg mixture to the pan along with the finely chopped Japanese parsley.

Stir over a low heat for a few minutes to thicken but do not allow to boil. Serve garnished with chopped Japanese parsley leaves.

Japanese parsley is a new and unusual culinary herb, which is ready for culinary experimentation.