Mitsuba (Japanese Parsley)
Latin Name: Chryptotaenia japonica
Item #: 411A
MITSUBA - Japanese Parsley (Trefoil)
Cryptotaenia japonica: Used by several orientals by the following names (a) Mitsuba- Japanese means "three leaves" (b) san ip - Cantonese; ( c) san ye qin - Mandarin (d) English - Trefoil. It looks and tastes like Italian Plain Leaf parsley. Leaves are medium dark green are much larger than Italian Plain Leaf, smooth spade shaped and have finely serrated edges. Stems are quite long, white in color with 3 leaves per stem. Young leaves have an aroma used in seasoning fish and egg drop soups, sukyaki, raw in salads, pickled in vinegar or fried in tempura batter. Leaves and stems are usually chopped and added as a garnish at the last minute for cooking.
CULTURE: Plants are perennial and 3 ft/91 cm tall at maturity. Mitsuba is normally treated as an annual in North America. This is a different species than Chinese Parsley or Kintsai (apium graveolens). Mitsuba is of Japanese origin and has herbal qualities. Mitsuba can be harvested very young for "Baby Leaf" bunching or included in Mesculin mixes.
GREENHOUSE: For earlier crops sow indoors Mar 1st-15th in 1 in/25 mm plugs for later outdoor transplants. Sow seed 0.25 in/6 mm deep, cover lightly and firm.
OUTDOORS: Sow seed outside from May 1st-June 20th, every 2 weeks for a fresh supply of Mitsuba until the snow flies. Plants are taller than regular parsley, so seedlings should be thinned to 12 in/30 cm apart. Start harvesting leaves after plants are 12 in/30 cm in height. Mitsuba is a Japanese woodland plant that prefers moist partially shaded soil. As stems get older and reach full maturity they become tough and can only be used in dishes which require long cooking periods to soften them up. In Japan, stalks are blanched like celery (in darkness) by using 8 in/20 cm wide planks on either side of the plant, when plants are 12 in/30 cm high to provide increased tenderness and whiteness.