Salad of Grilled Shrimp & Wilted Mizuna Mustard Greens

“The hills are alive!…not with the sound of music…but with wild mustard flowers”

Behold, another exploding Southern California Spring scene that makes us sing and celebrate this anticipated and colorful season. Peter’s Canyon is our local getaway where we can hike, bike, birdwatch and walk our dogs. Nestled in the suburbs of Orange County, Peter’s Canyon Regional Park is a hidden gem of wilderness trails and outdoor retreat when we need to refresh and rejuvenate from our daily strains of work. Springtime is especially beautiful here because all the mustard (Brassica Juncea), fennel and various spring flowers are starting to burst with flower power!

This years monstrous rains brought out a explosion of wild mustard that blanketed the hills of Peter’s canyon, giving us a yellow playground full of blossoms, blossoms and more blossoms! The trails are guarded on both sides with these tall mustard soldiers, protecting and embracing all those that walk the trail. If you live close by, you must stop by before the blooms dissipate. It’ll be worth the drive.

Romping through the gargantuan mustard is our inspiration for today’s mustard green dish and our entry to Weekend Herb Blogging , hosted this week by Kalyn at Kalyns Kitchen. Shopping through the farmers market today, we found 3 varieties of mustard greens that could work perfectly. Osaka Purple mustard, Chinese Gai Choi mustard, and Japanese Mizuna mustard were all so fresh and beautiful, it was hard to pick which one was going to make the dish. But being that the Mizuna mustard has more delicate leaves and small, tender stems, this mustard worked better with the sweet, delicate flavors of the shrimp.

Our Vietnamese mom makes kick butt dish of garlic mustard greens, so this dish takes on her basic recipe. We quickly sauteed the stems of the greens with some sesame oil and garlic. Once the stems began to soften, we quickly took the pan off the heat and added the mustard leaves and allowed to existing heat from the pan to wilt and cook the leaves. The shrimp was grilled on the pan with a little butter and garlic just until tender. The whole dish was then topped with a very simple nuoc cham (fish sauce dressing/dip). This dressing ties in the slightly bitter flavors of the mustard greens with the sweet shrimp very nicely!

shrimp salad mizuna mustard

Grilled Shrimp & Mustard Green Salad Recipe

Yield: Serves 2

Total Time: 5 Minutes

What makes this salad so delicious with Vietnamese flavors is the fish sauce nuoc cham dip. Don't be scared to eat it. It might sound intimidating but it's amazing. Here's the recipe for Diane's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Nuoc Cham Dip.


  • 1 bunch of Mustard Greens (wash, slice stems from leaves, then cut stems into 1″ pieces)
  • 1/2 lb. Shrimp, (shelled & de-veined)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil (or whatever neutral tasting oil you like)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted Butter
  • 2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic (crushed), divided
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • sea salt


  1. Coat hot pan with the grapeseed oil and butter and 2 cloves of crushed garlic. On medium-high heat, quickly cook shrimp till tender (about 30 seconds of each side). Season with fresh cracked pepper and a dash of sea salt.
  2. Add sesame oil and add remaining crushed garlic to the same pan with the shrimp. Add mustard greens. Cook stems on medium heat until tender or slightly wilted (@ 30 sec – 1 min.) For broader and tougher mustard leaves, cook until leaves are tender to taste (approx. 1 min.)
  3. Toss with about 1-1/2 Tablespoons of nuoc cham dressing.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

BTW- Grow More Trees !


{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. steven brookes

    Are the MIZUNA leafs ok when they flower/after they flower(salad wise raw)or cooking when do i pick the leaves?
    Can the yellow flowers be used for somethin else?

  2. foodwoolf

    First off, thank you for educating me. I recently went up to Santa Barbara and saw the gorgeous hill sides awash in color and had NO IDEA what kind of flora I was admiring. If I had known that beautiful yellow was actually something I could EAT! My god! Lucky for that hillside I had no idea it was wild mustard flowers. Otherwise, my weekend up in SB may have been dramatically different!

    thanks for everything,

  3. Pepy

    love mustard green! but the shot “The Hills are Alive” is very catchy one. Great idea!

  4. Chuck

    OK, that photo of the shrimps is amazing. A perfect cover shot for a cookbook or magazine. Looks delicious!

  5. Tartelette

    What a great getaway indeed. That shrimp salad is just gorgeous, you have captured the colors and textures perfectly!

  6. Cakelaw

    These photos and “The Hills are Alive” caption made me laugh – beautiful work.

  7. Zenchef

    We need more trees and after this post i need more shrimps for my belly! Once again, a beautiful post. I love the pictures!

  8. Toni

    Now why didn’t I bring my camera when hiking yesterday through Mission Trails Regional Park, where the mustard flowers are a riot of yellow???? Those photos are drop-dead gorgeous! (Of course, I didn’t have a gorgeous model, either!)

    Seems that shrimp is on everyone’s mind these days. Love the pairing with mustard greens!

  9. Simply...Gluten-free

    Gorgeous! Sometimes I just really want to be you guys! BTW I am coming back to California for a couple weeks to visit the hubby. YEAH! I’ll be in Palm Springs so probably no fields of yellow mustard but at least I’ll be back on the right (or left) coast!

  10. Pat

    The first time I saw mustard seeds I fell in love and these gorgeous pictures remind me again why I love them. We’re moving to California soon and I’ll look out for them yellow fields (and perhaps a lithe figure romping among the blossoms)!

  11. Mike

    The food looks great and the photos of you guys amongst the blossoms are really something. Looks like you had a fun day 🙂

  12. aforkfulofspaghetti

    Wow – loving the pictures of the wild mustard… and of the shrimp and greens, too, of course!

    So very evocative – and a million miles removed from the bleak winter scenes we’ve been having here. Lucky you!

  13. Donald

    Great photos guys!

    That is an excellent shrimp and greens dish.


  14. Ginger M.

    I imagine the air cool, clean and crisp. You look very happy Diane! Mmmm grilled shrimp…

  15. maybelle's Mom

    I always get to the comment party late. After 40 comments, what else is there left to say–but, these people are all right–GREAT pictures and I love mustard so much. I do wonder though, is it freeing to be able to use pictures with your face?

  16. nicole

    All I have to say is you make me want to move to California.
    A W H O L E L O T. 🙂

  17. Anna

    beautiful photos, yummy leaves, succulent prawns, kick ass t-shirt!

  18. Helen

    That is such a beautiful photo at the end. It is so nice to see other places have managed to reach springtime – it’s freezing in London!!

  19. Rita

    beautiful shots! ok those flowers got so much lovin from you, isnt he jealous? hehe

  20. peabody

    Gorgeous! The presentation of the shrimp on the greens is lovely.

  21. Christine

    I’ve never been to Peter’s Canyon. How lovely it must be right now. I love the first photo! Makes me want to dance and traipse in the fields too…can you bring me with you next time? 🙂

    And I really like your salad. Mustard greens are more than meets the eye, I think. I can’t get mizuna that often here – I do miss it’s taste as well as its versatility. Raw or cooked, it’s wonderful.

  22. Kevin

    That shrimp salad looks really tasty.

  23. Wandering Chopsticks

    I thought mizuna was a type of lettuce? I’ve always eaten it raw in salads. Who knew?

    The dish looks gorgeous but even better are the pics of Diane romping in a field of mustard blossoms. 🙂

  24. nikkipolani

    You know, I’ve been dying to take photos of all that wild mustard but pulling off the road on the way to work can really put a dent in your morning! So I’m LOVING these shots of all that glorious mustard! Beautiful!

  25. dhanggit

    for few seconds i felt like i was julie andrews too watching those beautiful photos of you guys!! i feel like singing too 🙂 i always eat mizuna greens in salad never tried them wilted like this, great recipe i bet!!

  26. Lori

    Sounds like a great recipe. I love mustard greens – especially gai choi and mizuna!

  27. ovenhaven

    Lovely shots! You look really gleeful to be surrounded by the gorgeous flowers ~hehe 😛 And might I add, your grilled shrimps made my stomach growl -_-‘

  28. Laurie Constantino

    Wonderful, happily springy pictures – they make me forget the snow outside. Great post.

  29. noble pig

    Wow, I thought you were in the Napa Valley for a minute. What great pictures and a beautiful day.

  30. Julie

    You guys sure look like you’re having a blast frolicking in the fields! 🙂 And what better way to celebrate a nature filled day than with a lovely grilled shrimp dish. Looks awesome!

  31. Jesse

    Oooh, I love that picture of you hugging the wild mustard. You’re soooo pretty! *Tears up slightly at the touching scene* Thanks for the heads up, I’ll be bringing my new puppy there and taking lots of pictures of him frolicking about in the blossoms! And oh yeah, now I crave grilled shrimp. Hrmph.

  32. FlaNBoyant Eats

    i’m in love with you guys!! D, what happened to the red pumps!!!! LOL!!
    The color contrast would have been beautiful: yellow mustard flowers and you running in yellow pumps!!! (a la Resse Witherspoon at last year’s Oscars!)

    Love the Sound of Music reference (my fave movie) and wonderful pics, as always.
    Oh by the way, I made some lemon chicken the other day with the rosemary you sent me! So, since I didn’t take any pics, I’m going to make it again, write the recipe and post it for you to see. It was so good–something simple I came up with, but Cuban style.

  33. Jessica

    That is so cool! I have never seen wild mustard plants before!

  34. RecipeGirl

    Beautiful pictures. I think my allergies are kicking up!

    The dish looks great too!

  35. Lisa

    Diane you look so beautiful in that field. You should frame one of those photos!

  36. Denise & Lenny

    Great shots – pretty funny! You can almost here the music playing in the background…. 🙂

    The shrimp salad looks incredible. I can not wait for it warm up in this area so we can fire up a grill to make incredible things like this!!

  37. We Are Never Full

    you guys are funny… I know that there’s love in these pics but also a little bit of campiness/humor. hugging the mustard plants is priceless. you really did look a bit like that scene in sound of music! LOL… you sure you didn’t have a few of those blood orange drinks before you headed out? we heart mustard greens too but there aren’t any plants for us to touch and hug around these parts! 🙁

    but that shrimp – yum… beautiful picture as usual!!


  38. bee and jai

    that first pic is drop dead gorgeous. mustard greens are fantastic, we agree.

  39. bee and jai

    that first pic is drop dead gorgeous. mustard greens are fantastic, i agree.

    – bee

  40. anya

    Aren’t these the gardens of Eden you, guys, live and eat in? :))

  41. Big Boys Oven

    incredible lovely photos and food too!

  42. Big Boys Oven

    Darned! you got a lovely prawn dish that I am so envy of. Gosh you really know how to make my saliva dripping, unstopable! 🙂

  43. Luna Pier Cook

    This post is just too cool! Must be nice to have that kind of weather all the time … I mean, geez … 😉

  44. Rosie

    Stunning pics guys!! Thanks for sharing this delicious shrimp dish too – you really know how to spoil us!! 😀

    Rosie x

  45. Sarah C.

    Ok, so now I am homesick. I miss the mustard fields that seem to pop up in the blink of an eye in the “springtime” in California. We dont have mustard here…just kudzu, which, I have to argue, is not the same. Sigh. Great pictures though!

  46. Kalyn

    The mustard flowers are beautiful. This sounds like a delicious dish.

  47. richa

    those pics of mustard brought back beautiful memories from back home! thanks:)
    aah! this post gets me all nostalgic, mustard greens are my most fav kind of greens, back home it is a winter delicacy. Cooked with onion, garlic and cornmeal, it makes for one extremely delicious yet rustic dish 🙂

  48. Julie

    Damn! Now I’m going to find myself humming that song throughout the day!

    I can just imagine the interplay between sweet and bitter in this. Wonderful. And your picture of the finished dish looks spectacular.

  49. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    You do look very Julie Andrews out there in the field of blossoms! The recipe looks pretty delicious, too. I don’t use mustard greens very often, but they are so healthy. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  50. Gastronomer

    I lived in SoCal for 19 years and never checked out the wildflowers. Shame on me! I am totally missing out. I’ll have to change this once I’m outta Saigon.

  51. grace

    fact: the sound of music is one of the best movies ever made.

  52. Pixie

    My thought went into the ad as well…the shrimp dish sounds scrumptious!

  53. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    Those photos with you and the mustard blossoms are breathtaking! What a gorgeous place!

    That salad looks pretty gorgeous too! I’ve never eaten mustard greens before and this looks too good not to try.

  54. amanda

    i haven’t been able to get enough of all of the wild flowers in socal lately! we drove out to the desert a couple of weeks ago to go flower hunting and it was a real blast. both the shrimp and greens look amazing… as always!

  55. Kitt

    Needs more dirndl!

    I’m so ready for farmers market greens. Stashing this away until then. Thanks for the visual fix in the meantime!

  56. manggy

    That’s so pretty, Diane! You could be in an ad for Wild Mustard! Or trees! I totally agree that we need more trees- situation here’s much worse. We’re supposed to be a “tropical rainforest” but you can hardly tell.
    On a more positive note, that salad looks mighty tasty! I love crustaceans 🙂

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