Baby Mustard Greens and Tuna Salad is a quick and easy mustard green recipe. The canned tuna and sliced tofu skin add extra dimensions to the texture. Baby Mustard Greens and Tuna Salad makes it easy to eat a lot of green leaves and the salad is dressed in just sesame oil and light soy sauce with a little bit of mayonnaise.
It takes only 10 minutes to make! The longest time you have to bear with is the time to bring the water to a boil so that you can blanch the mustard greens.
About Mustard Greens
As the name suggests, mustard is the seeds of mustard greens. There are numerous varieties of mustard greens. In Japan, mustard greens are called ‘karashina’ (からし菜). ‘Karashi’ (からし) means mustard and ‘na’ (菜) means leaves so there is no argument here.
The Japanese mustard greens have thin stems and are rather small compared to the Chinese mustard greens called ‘gai choy’ (Cantonese) that have thick stems and many leaves are growing off the stems. The leaves of the Chinese mustard greens are larger too. But both of them have a similar spiciness to them, which is unique to this vegetable.
Karashina is a typical spring vegetable. When it starts appearing at vegetable shops in Japan, Japanese people really feel that spring has come.
Recently at my favourite Chinese grocery shop, I found a baby gai choy that looked just like karashina. So, I had to buy a bunch and make something using it. Well, it’s spring here in Sydney.
Mustard greens may also be called Indian mustard, leaf mustard, or mustard cabbage.
This salad is made of only three ingredients. I have also added alternative ingredients below.
- Baby mustard greens – see the previous section for details. You can of course use normal Chinese mustard greens, instead. Other alternatives include English spinach, broccolini, Chinese broccoli or choy sum.
- Tuna – I used canned tuna in spring water. Poached chicken can be an alternative. Shred the chicken after poaching. I thought of canned salmon but I think that the fishiness might be overpowering.
- Tofu skin – I used a sheet of dried tofu skin that I bought at a Chinese grocery store. Please visit my post, Dried Tofu Skin Soup Two Ways, to see the photo of sample products. Instead of tofu skin, you can use blanched enoki mushrooms or bean sprouts. They will be quite different in texture and flavour, but they go very well with the salad. You could also omit this third ingredient if you want.
Here is the salad I made with normal Chinese mustard greens and enoki mushrooms.
Blanching Mustard Greens
To make the salad, the mustard greens need to be cut into 5cm/2” long pieces. Some recipes cut them before blanching and some after blanching.
If you need to plate the greens in a neat and tidy piles like the way I plate spinach in my post, Spinach Ohitashi Salad, you must blanch the leaves before cutting. Otherwise it will be a daunting task to place each piece in a neat pile since boiling will scatter every piece of the green leaves.
In the case of today’s dish, you can cut the mustard leaves either before or after blanching them. The blanched leaves will be mixed with other ingredients anyway.
I always blanch the leaves before cutting. I feel that the cut pieces might lose more nutrients than whole leaves when blanched.
Dressing for Baby Mustard Greens and Tuna Salad
The dressing is a mixture of just the same quantity of sesame oil and soy sauce with some mayonnaise. If you want, you can add a pinch of pepper.
Mayonnaise gives umami to the flavour of the salad. It also makes the dressing milder. If you prefer not to use mayonnaise, you can substitute it with a pinch of salt.
Although I called it ‘dressing’, it is hardly a dressing since I do not pre-mix the dressing ingredients. After mixing the salad ingredients, I add dressing ingredients to the salad and mix them. It’s so quick to make!
Baby Mustard Greens and Tuna Salad is a tasty filling salad that goes quite well with rice. The speed of making this dish is also attractive.
This is a quick and easy salad that fills you up. Mixed with canned tuna and sliced tofu skin, which add extra dimensions to the texture, Baby Mustard Greens and Tuna Salad makes it easy to eat a lot of green leaves. The salad is dressed in just sesame oil, light soy sauce and a bit of mayonnaise.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 200g/7.1oz baby mustard greens (note 1)
- 10g/0.4oz dried tofu skin sheet , cut to 5cm/2" long x 5mm/3/16" wide strips (note 2)
- 65g/2.3oz canned tuna chunks in spring water , drained (note 3)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp mayonnaise (note 4)
- A pinch of pepper (optional)
Soak the tofu skin strips in water for 5 minutes to rehydrate, then drain.
Bring water in a large pot to a boil. Add a pinch of salt (not in ingredients) and put the mustard greens in, ensuring that all leaves are submerged in the water.
When the water starts boiling again (note 3), drain and add cold water to the pot with the leaves to quickly cool them down.
Rinse each stem with running water to clean the root end of the clusters as they tend to accumulate soil.
Align all the stems with root side on the right (for right handers). Cut at the beginning of the root and discard the root bits. Starting from the root end, cut the leaves to 5cm long pieces.
Take a handful of chopped leaves at a time, squeeze and drain water and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
Squeeze water out of the rehydrated tofu skin pieces and put them into the mixing bowl.
Add the tuna to the mixing bowl and mix well with other ingredients. Ensure that the pieces of mustard greens are separated (they get stuck together when the water is squeezed out) and mixed with other ingredients.
Add sesame oil, soy sauce and mayonnaise. Add pepper if using and mix all ingredients well.
1. Finding Japanese mustard greens called ‘karashina’, would be the best. Baby Chinese mustard greens are very similar.
If you can only find fully grown mustard greens, that’s OK, too. Blanching time will be a bit longer due to thick stems (I blanched for 1 minute). If the stems are very thick, you may halve them vertically halfway so that the stems become thinner without separating two halves.
To avoid the soft leaf part from getting over cooked, put the stem-end of the leaves in the boiling water first, keeping the green leaves above the water for a short while, then push the leaves into the water.
Spinach, Broccolini, Chinee broccoli or choy sum can be good alternatives too.
2. Instead of tofu skin, you can use 50g/1.8oz of blanched enoki mushrooms. Remove the stem and cut into half if too long before blanching. Cool them down and squeeze the water out before mixing to the salad.
You can also substitute tofu skin with blanched bean sprouts. Make sure to squeeze water out before adding to the mixing bowl.
3. I used the smallest canned tuna which had the net weight of 95g/3.4oz. After draining the liquid, it weighed about 65g/2.3oz.
You can use blanched chicken if you prefer. Shred it after blanching.
4. Mayonnaise gives umami to the flavour of the salad. It also makes the dressing milder. If you prefer not to use mayonnaise, you can substitute it with a pinch of salt.