Friday, May 9, 2008

Mizuna and Minced Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken and Mizuna

Steven and I recently signed up for a local CSA. CSAs are growing increasingly popular and I bet many of you are already familiar with the concept but we just learned about them a few weeks ago (man I feel so behind the times). CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is a program where you establish a relationship with a local farm and you receive a weekly, biweekly, or monthly box of produce that the farm grows. It's a great way to 1. eat locally and support local farms, 2. eat seasonally, 3. eat more fruits and veggies (because okay, let's be honest, who gets their 5-a-day, not me...) and 4. try fruits and veggies that you've never tried before. The great thing about our CSA is the variety and flexibility. Everything in our box is organic. Some items come from the main farm, other items come from other farms in Washington State, and some come from outside of the region to give subscribers a little variety. We can make substitutions, pickup either weekly or biweekly, or cancel or put our subscription on hold at anytime.

CSA

Last week our box contained:
2 Russet potatoes
1 bunch Carrots
1 Leek
.75 lb Zucchini
.75 lb Shallots
2 Hass avocados
4 Valencia oranges
2 Tommy Atkins mangos
2 Lemons
1 Romaine lettuce
1 bunch Mizuna
.34 lb Spring Mix

Organic carrots taste so much better than the giant supermarket carrots and Bunny was happy that the carrots came with green leafy tops attached, which he quickly nommed away.

After looking at our produce list for the week, Steven asked me what mizuna was. I wouldn’t have had a clue if he had asked me the day before, but it just so happened that I had just read a post about mizuna on Susan's blog, Food Blogga. I felt pretty sharp when I replied, "Oh, it's a Japanese mustard green." So I knew what it was, but I was at a loss of how to prepare it. Google to the rescue! I found a recipe for a mizuna and chicken stir fry from Whole Foods, and while I liked the idea, that recipe called for all sorts of random ingredients. I just wanted a simple mizuna and chicken stir fry. Mizuna, I discovered, cooks down a lot. It’s like spinach, you start out with a huge bunch and 2 seconds later, poof, it shrinks down to nearly nothing. I kept a 1:1 ratio of mizuna to chicken in this recipe but feel free to use more or less chicken. The mizuna also cooks very quickly. I added it after I took the pan off the heat and the residual heat of the cooked chicken and hot pan was enough to gently wilt the mizuna. If it's cooked too long, the greens will be limp and lifeless.

Mizuna and Minced Chicken Stir Fry
Inspired by Whole Foods

3/4 lb chicken breast
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Shao Xing rice wine
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
3/4 lb mizuna
Salt to taste

Pulse the chicken breast in a food processor to mince it finely until there are no large pieces remaining but do not grind into a paste. Or alternatively mince it with a chef's knife. Mix the minced chicken with soy sauce, wine, cornstarch, sugar, and white pepper and set it aside to marinate.

Meanwhile, trim the ends off the mizuna. It's easiest to keep the mizuna in a bunch and trim the ends off all at once then untie the bunch to wash. My mizuna was pretty dirty, so wash it a few times to loosen and wash away any dirt on the stems and leaves.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken
and stir fry until it is fully cooked through, about 4 - 6 minutes. When the chicken is fully cooked, turn off the heat and add the mizuna. Toss the mizuna in the hot pan with the chicken and it will start to wilt and cook down, season to taste with salt.

Serve with rice.


More about CSAs:
If you live in the Pacific Northwest area, there are many different CSAs to choose from (we signed up with Full Circle Farms). To find a local CSA in your area go to this website: http://www.localharvest.org

11 comments:

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I giggled when you said it cooks down "a lot." Seriously. That's a fantastic treat to discover in your box. Thanks for the mention, Amy! :)

noobcook said...

This CSA program sounds great, wish we have it in Singapore! I love your chicken stir fry dish :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Sounds like you are off to a good start with your CSA. Looking forward to more wonderful recipes like this one as the growing season progresses.

Veron said...

What a fabulous box of goodies! I think we have a CSA here in Richmond, Va. That is a delicious chicken stir fry.

edamame said...

All dishes look very delicious! I am interested in the food culture of your country. And I support your site. If there is time, please come in my site. From Japan
http://food-soybean.blogspot.com/

Amy said...

Susan,
Hehehe. I was going to cook only half the mizuna but after I saw how much it shrunk I had to cook the rest. :P

noobcook,
Thanks!

Lydia,
Most definitely. I can't wait for the boxes.

Veron,
It was quite the spread!

Edamame,
Thanks for visiting.

Zita said...

wow..looks simple but delicious..a must try :)

Vonda said...

I just signed up for a local CSA for the first time as well. Isn't it fun anticipating what you'll get next and then creating and finding new recipes? I decided to start a blog myself to post my recipes. I googled to find out who else out there was blogging about their CSA and what they're saying and found your site.

bunnybites said...

Great, recipe. Thanks! I used it when I got Mizuna in my CSA box, and it inspired a new recipe when we had way too many carrots one week! Check it out - http://bunnybites.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/i-got-a-lot-of-carrots-in-my-csa-box-stir-fry/

Gratefully Averted said...

ADORE Full Circle Farm...got Mizuna for the first time last week and again this week and found your post via Google. Can't wait to try your recipe.

Eron Rauch said...

I've got a blog where I post up my CSA recipes too - http://eronrauch.blogspot.com. I think I'm going to give your Mizuna & minced chicken dish a whirl - maybe add some pine nuts, even a swirl of korean chile paste and serve over a bowl of rice with a wedge of yuzu!

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