''Brassica juncea'', commonly brown mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, leaf mustard, Oriental mustard and vegetable mustard, is a species of mustard plant.


''Brassica juncea'' cultivars can be divided into four major subgroups: integrifolia, juncea, napiformis, and tsatsai.






In a reference serving, cooked mustard greens provide of food energy and are a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value) of vitamins A, C, and K which is especially high as a multiple of its Daily Value. Mustard greens are a moderate source of vitamin E and calcium. Greens are 92% water, 4.5% carbohydrates, 2.6% protein and 0.5% fat (table).



The leaves, seeds, and stems of this mustard variety are edible. The plant appears in some form in African, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Nepali, Pakistani, Korean, and African-American (soul food) cuisines. Cultivars of ''B. juncea'' are grown for their greens, and for the production of oilseed. The mustard condiment made from the seeds of the ''B. juncea'' is called brown mustard and is considered to be spicier than yellow mustard. Because it may contain erucic acid, a potential toxin, mustard oil is restricted from import as a vegetable oil into the United States. Essential oil of mustard, however, is accepted as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe). But in Russia, this is the main species grown for the production of mustard oil. It is widely used in canning, baking and margarine production in Russia, and the majority of Russian table mustard is also made from ''B. juncea''. The leaves are used in African cooking,Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen. and all plant parts are used in Nepali cuisine, particularly in the mountain regions of Nepal, as well as in the Punjabi cuisine in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, where a dish called ''sarson da saag'' (mustard greens) is prepared. ''B. juncea'' subsp. ''tatsai'', which has a particularly thick stem, is used to make the Nepali pickle called ''achar'', and the Chinese pickle ''zha cai''. The Gorkhas of the Indian states of Darjeeling, West Bengal and Sikkim as well as Nepal prepare pork with mustard greens (also called ''rayo'' in Nepali). It is usually eaten with relish and steamed rice, but can also be eaten with ''roti'' (griddle breads). In Nepal it is also a common practice to cook these greens with meat of all sorts specially goat meat; which is normally prepared in a pressure cooker with minimal use of spices to focus on the flavour of the greens and dry chillies. ''Brassica juncea'' (especially the seeds) is more pungent than greens from the closely related ''Brassica oleracea'' (kale, broccoli, and collard greens), and is frequently mixed with these milder greens in a dish of "mixed greens". Chinese and Japanese cuisines also make use of mustard greens. In Japanese cuisine, it is known as ''takana'' and often pickled for use as filling in onigiri or as a condiment. Many varieties of ''B. juncea'' cultivars are used, including ''zha cai'', ''mizuna'', ''takana'' (var. ''integrifolia''), ''juk gai choy'', and ''xuelihong''. Asian mustard greens are most often stir-fried or pickled. A Southeast Asian dish called ''asam gai choy'' or ''kiam chai boey'' is often made with leftovers from a large meal. It involves stewing mustard greens with tamarind, dried chillies and leftover meat on the bone. Brassica juncea is also known as ''gai choi'', ''siu gai choi'', ''xaio jie cai'', baby mustard, Chinese leaf mustard or ''mostaza''. File:Lai shak, smashed potato & fried egg plant.jpg|Lai shak, mashed potato & fried egg plant File:Lai Xaak'or Bhaji.JPG|Fried mustard green dish File:Gat-gimchi.jpg|Mustard green kimchi File:Chinesemustardgreens.jpg|Cantonese-style braised mustard greens, with wolfberries

Green manure

Vegetable growers sometimes grow mustard as a green manure. Its main purpose is to act as a mulch, covering the soil to suppress weeds between crops. If grown as a green manure, the mustard plants are cut down at the base when sufficiently grown, and left to wither on the surface, continuing to act as a mulch until the next crop is due for sowing, when the mustard is dug in. In the UK, mustard sown in summer and autumn is cut down starting in October. April sowings can be cut down in June, keeping the ground clear for summer-sown crops. One of the disadvantages of using mustard as a green manure is its propensity to harbor club root.


This mustard plant is used in phytoremediation to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the soil in hazardous waste sites because it has a higher tolerance for these substances and stores the heavy metals in its cells. In particular, ''Brassica juncea'' was particularly effective at removing cadmium from soil. The process of removing heavy metals ends when the plant is harvested and properly discarded. Phytoremediation has been shown to be cheaper and easier than traditional methods for heavy metal reduction in soils. In addition, it has the effect of reducing soil erosion, reducing cross-site contamination.

See also

*''Sinapis alba'' (formerly ''Brassica alba'') – yellow or white mustard, another mustard variety *''Brassica oleracea'' – wild cabbage *''Brassica nigra'' – black mustard, another mustard variety *''Brassica rapa'' – related family of edible greens used in Asian cooking *''Brassica carinata'' – Ethiopian mustard *For other edible plants in the family Brassicaceae, see cruciferous vegetables.


Further reading

* .

External links

PROTAbase on ''Brassica juncea''

Mustard Green Manures: Washington State University Extension paper on cover crops.
{{Taxonbar|from=Q504781 Category:Asian vegetables juncea Category:Chinese cuisine Category:Flora of Asia Category:Flora of Nepal Category:Leaf vegetables Category:Phytoremediation plants Category:Soul food Category:Sylheti cuisine