Rice Bowl With Wasabi - Flavored Field Mustard An Essence Of Spring

Rice bowl with wasabi-flavored field mustard an essence of springSatoru Uchida, who runs fruit and vegetable wholesaler Tsukiji Mikuriya in Tokyo, cherishes vegetables in season.
Spring brings a bounty of sprouting vegetables such as “sansai” (mountain vegetables), “nanohana” (field mustard) and asparagus.

Since 2007, Uchida has instructed interested consumers about the characteristics of in-season vegetables and how to select and cook them during workshops at his store and elsewhere.

“Field mustard, which is a spring vegetable, does not have to be immersed in water after boiling.” he says. “It will still retain its color and flavor.”

When placed on a sieve and cooled with a fan, it will not become watery or lose its flavor.

For this week’s dish, Uchida uses field mustard that is cooled on a sieve. Its vivid green captures the freshness of spring.

With a slightly bitter “adult-oriented” taste, field mustard is often seasoned with Japanese mustard.

But Uchida prefers to use wasabi. He came up with the recipe after he ate a wasabi rice bowl in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, an area that produces wasabi.

A bowl of warm rice was topped with dried bonito shavings, then fresh grated wasabi and soy sauce. Uchida says he enjoyed the simple dish that highlighted both the pungency and sweetness of wasabi.

The recipe features a harmony of “bitter,” “pungent” and “sweet” flavors by uniting the strong characteristics of field mustard and wasabi. The recipe has become one of Uchida’s staples.

Field mustard is at its best when the buds are still firm and closed. Avoid those that have blossomed and choose ones with fresh cut-off ends. For storage, remove the tape and paper and mist it with water. Wrap it in newspaper to keep it from drying and place in the fridge. It is best to eat within two or three days. Serves two.


10 field mustard plants

Fresh wasabi

2 bowls rice

Dried-bonito shavings


Cut off about 1 cm of the hard end of field mustard stem. Boil briefly. Spread on sieve and cool. Grate fresh wasabi.

Serve rice in bowl and sprinkle with dried-bonito shavings. Lay field mustard and top with generous amount of wasabi. Pour soy sauce and enjoy.

If fresh wasabi is unavailable, tubed wasabi may be used. But be careful with the amount used.