The flavor of mitsuba is refreshing and light with a hint of bitterness, similar to a combination of Italian parsley, cilantro, and other fresh green herbs. While the stem and root are edible, the leaves are the most frequently utilized component.
If you grow your own mitsuba, you’ll want to cut the leaves before the plant gets too mature — if it flowers or is hit too hard by prolonged direct sunlight, the flavor will become too bitter. Similarly, cooking the leaves too long can turn the bitter taste from refreshing to overpowering. For this reason, they’re generally eaten raw in salads or sushi, or used as a wilted garnish in soups, stir fries, rice dishes, and other meals.
Like all green herbs and vegetables, mitsuba contains many vitamins and minerals. You can find it in Uwajimaya’s produce section next to other herbs and greens.