Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Can You Grow Mustard Vegetable Roots

If you like sushi, you are relatively familiar with the green sauce served as a condiment -- mustard. You may wonder what this green thing with a big kick is and where it comes from. Let's learn more about mustard use. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

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What is mustard?

The hot green sauce comes from mustard vegetable roots. Mustard vegetable root is a member of Brassicaceae, including cabbage, mustard and horseradish. In fact, mustard is often called Japanese horseradish.

The wasabi plant is a perennial native plant found along the river bed of mountain valleys in Japan. There are several kinds of mustard, including:


Japanese mustard
Cochlear mustard
Korean mustard
Iron wood with mustard
Alsophila japonica

The planting of mustard roots can be traced back to at least the 10th century.

Plant mustard plants

Mustard grows best in loose, organic rich soil, some moist. It also likes soil pH between 6 and 7.

As for location, this is one of the vegetables that you can actually place in the shade of the garden or even near the pond. Before planting, it is recommended to soak the roots in cold water and remove any damaged leaves. Once the outdoor temperature is about 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10-16 degrees Celsius), plant mustard in spring, and space plants are about 12 inches (31 cm) apart.

Mustard can also be grown in containers, using a 6-inch (15cm) pot containing an organic rich potting mixture, and then transplanted to a 12 inch (31cm) pot a year later. In order to increase the drainage, please put sand in the bottom of the pot.

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Water the mustard plant thoroughly and frequently. Covering around plants will help to maintain soil moisture.

Trim any withered or unsightly leaves or stems from the plant. Weeds shall be controlled throughout the growing season, and pests such as slugs and snails shall be checked.

When planting mustard plants, it is generally recommended to apply slow-release 12-12-12 fertilizer every three to four months. It is said that high sulfur fertilizer can increase its flavor and piquancy.

Harvest roots when the temperature is cool in spring or autumn. Keep in mind that rhizomes usually take about two years to mature or reach a length of 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm). When harvesting mustard, pull up the whole plant and remove any lateral buds.

Mustard needs to be protected from cold winter temperatures. In warmer areas, extensive application of mulch is sufficient. However, those in cold regions should plant mustard in flower pots that can be moved to shelter.

Mustard use

Although the leaves of mustard plants can be eaten fresh, sometimes dried for other processed foods or pickled with sake, salt water or soy sauce, the roots are prizes. The heat from mustard roots is different from the capsaicin in pepper. Mustard can stimulate the nasal cavity more than the tongue. At first, it feels hot and quickly dissipates into a sweeter taste without burning. Mustard is not oil based like pepper, so its effect is relatively short and can be alleviated by other foods or liquids.

Of course, some uses of mustard are for sushi or sashimi, but it is also delicious in noodle soup, as a condiment for barbecue and vegetables, or added to dipping sauce, marinade and salad sauce.

When fresh mustard root is used, it is usually ground before eating because it loses its flavor in the first few hours. Or put the lid on it and put it between fish and rice to show sushi.

In fact, most of the mustard sauce or powder we know is not mustard root at all. Because mustard plants require specific cultivation conditions, their roots are quite expensive, and it may be difficult for ordinary gardeners to plant them. Therefore, mustard powder or horseradish, corn starch and artificial pigments are often used instead of real things.

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How to prepare mustard root

First, choose a flawless, solid root, clean it, and then peel it with a knife. Grinding the roots into thick paste is the key to release the sharp flavor of mustard. Japanese chefs use shark skin to make this thick paste, but you can use the smallest hole on the metal wire planer to grind it in a circular motion.

The paste obtained by covering the fresh-keeping film is allowed to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before use to form a flavor, and then used within the next few hours. Any remaining roots should be covered with a wet towel and refrigerated.

Rinse the roots with cold water every few days and check for decay. Cold stored mustard rhizomes can be kept for about one month.