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Japanese mustard
Brassicaceae
Brassica juncea


jimtavernier
jimtavernier

Brassicaceae Family

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Unknown Plant
Unknown Plant - January 21, 2010

  Identifier Research
Japanese mustard
gardengeek
March 26, 2014
Brassicaceae
Brassica juncea
Web | Images | YouTube
Comment: Japanese mustard, Brassica juncea

Page Posts: 1

Chris2002
Chris2002
March 31, 2010
Giant-leafed mustard, Japanese mustard, purple mustard, red mustard, aka takana (Japanese) has leaves that are a fine blend of green and purple in their leaves, as well as some having each of the colours in full. The colours develop in the colder climates, where the red or purple tones deepen and fade in warmer zones or in greenhouses. Although Chinese in origin, these mustards have been adopted by Japan as some of their names indicate: Osaka Purple, Miike Giant, Aka Takana, Aka Chirimen. Although the leaves can grow to be quite large, the tenderness is not affected; but their hot flavour definitely increases with age. Aka takana is especially known on the southern island of Kyushu, where other plants do not grow in the volcanic ash. There, as in China, it is used primarily for pickles which are very popular all over Japan in soups and sometimes wrapped around rice instead of seaweed.
Mustard greens are members of the cabbage family and relatives of Sarepta mustard (ssp. juncea). Technically, the term "mustard greens" refers to a single species of Old World plants (Brassica juncea), which is thought to have originated in the Central Asian Himalayas before spreading to China, India, and the Caucasus. However, taxonomists identify as many as seventeen subgroups that can differ sharply in heat, flavor, and appearance. The colors can range from lime green to burgundy, from smooth to prickly, nippy to fiery, chewy to fibrous and when harvested young, may not even resemble the plant at the older stage. Two wild European mustards, ancestors of the cultivated species, are the field mustard (ssp. campestris) and charlock (Sinapis arvensis). Field mustard has cultivated species called Indian colza and Indian rape. In its wild form, it is known as kalewort or summer rape in England. The name colza comes from the Dutch kool zad, which means kale seed. Charlock is also known as corn mustard,and often eaten in Ireland, the Hebrides, and Sweden.
Mustard leaves can vary greatly in shape from curly to forming firm heads with thickened leaf stalks. They should always be briefly blanched or boiled because of their bitter pungent taste. In China, mustard cabbage is preserved like sauerkraut and pickled in lactic acid. The lactic acid takes the edge off the bitter substances contained in the greens, while simultaneously adding a spicy taste. The popular and convenient mix of salad greens usually contains two baby mustard greens, tatsoi and mizuna. Tatsoi is an ornamental mustard with dark green (almost black) spoon-shaped leaves with white stems. It is sometimes called flat Chinese cabbage. Mizuna has a light green, very deeply notched leaf that has a feather look. It is milder than most mustards and reminiscent of arugula, but sweeter. In the southern US, the liquid is saved from the cooking of the greens and used for dunking cornbread or, like all vegetable liquid should be, reserved for soups or stews. The water can also be used as part of the liquid in muffins, pancakes, breads, etc.
Mustard greens are an excellent source of vitamins C and E, fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and B6. The calcium in mustard greens ranks high in its bioavailability. It is best to choose mustard greens that are young and tender, no longer than eight inches, and use them as quickly as possible. All young mustard greens deteriorate faster than the mature leaves. They can be wrapped in paper towels and put in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator for a short period of time. Mustard greens can be steamed, boiled, sautéed, or braised for ten to twenty minutes. The longer they are cooked, the softer the flavor becomes. If cooked just until just tender, they will have a spicy flavor. Baby mustard greens, on the other hand, can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches.

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