Japanese Parsley looks quite similar to flat leaf parsley but is quite distinctive from it in both flavour and growing habit. Also known as Mitsuba – or Cryptotaenia japonica after we have had a few drinks.
The leaves grow quite large and produce a flavour which includes hints of parsley and celery. We enjoy adding this plant to soups, stir fry dishes and salads.
It is a perennial although we tend to put it in a sheltered spot and it survives fairly normal winter conditions. It struggled with the very cold winter that we had a few years back – mind you I think we all did! It will do well in fairly shady conditions so this is perfect for planting in a slightly shadowy corner of the garden or growing on a windowsill that doesn’t get enough light.
Last year we were setting up our stand at the QE Hospital Food Market when one of the students placed there came across very excitedly to tell me that she recognised this variety which grew local to her home town in Japan. I love how herbs connect people like that. She thought it was so cool that she saw this herb only weeks after beginning her placement at the QE.