This year, we ordered some seeds from Baker's Creek, a wonderful heirloom seed company in the Missouri Ozarks. As part of our order, a free packet of Mizuna seeds were included. Being adventurous, we decided to grow some, and we have been rewarded with large and happy Mizuna plants!
Mizuna is considered a Japanese mustard green, however it seems to have originated in China. It has a mild peppery taste to it. Traditionally, the Japanese pickle the stems of this green to enjoy along with their beer. However, it can also be used in salads, soups and stir fries, as well. I have added some leaves to my chickweed salads this spring, and find it mixes well with other salad greens without being too overpowering. It provides a great source of daily vitamin A (about 120% of the daily recommended value in a cup per some sources).
One of the joys of gardening, shopping at a farmers market, or belonging to a CSA (community supported agriculture) is that you can try several new varieties of vegetables that are not commonly found in the typical grocery store, such as mizuna. Additionally, you can enjoy them when they are the most fresh and often taste the best.