One of the many veggies that we use in our cooking is mustard greens. They are healthy and nutritious yellowish leafy vegetables that have good use in our recipes.
They belong to the brassica family the same as cauliflower, kale, and broccoli. Actually, mustard greens have a fibrous texture as well. They can be eaten raw and cooked.
When you eat them raw, you’ll taste the strong mustard and wasabi notes which reduce once you cook them. These dark leaves contain a lot of Vitamin A and other minerals.
Mustard greens are commonly used in the cuisines of Asia, Africa, and even Italy. They are very useful and they can be found in many grocery stores. However, what if the season for these greens has passed and you have none, is there a way that you can replace them?
Can I substitute mustard greens? Of course, you can use Kale, Chinese Mustard greens, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, English Spinach, Chinese Broccoli, Baby Spinach Leaves, Fenugreek leaves, Dandelion Greens, or Escarole instead.
Find out more about each of them and choose the best one that suits your recipe best.
Mustard Greens Substitutes
Rather similar to the texture of mustard greens, kale is a substitute that will serve you well. They can both be used interchangeably and will be good for your recipes.
When compared, raw kale lacks the wasabi taste. However, once it is cooked, it has a quite similar taste to mustard greens. Another difference is that kale belongs to the cabbage family and it has two varieties: smooth and curly.
Whichever option you find and choose, they’ll be good for your dish. Kale is good for salads or any other recipe that calls for mustard greens.
2. Chinese Mustard Greens
Another Chinese variation that can be a good substitute for mustard greens is Gai Choi. This is a type of mustard green that is common for Asian cuisine. When you compare these two, you’ll find out that they come from different families.
However, the pungent taste is there and it has a less mustardy taste. They can be used in salads, cooked or pickled. Use it in other recipes to add a nice touch to your meals, as well as to make pickled mustard or add fresh leaves to stir-fried meals.
3. Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard, also known as Chard is another way to substitute mustard greens in your cooking. They are similar to the English Spinach and they are perfect for cooking collard recipes.
You should know that the taste of Swiss Chard is stronger than the Mustard Greens. Make sure to use proper amounts when replacing.
You can either cook the stems together or separately. A useful tip: Cook them separately to avoid overdoing the leaves. Another important fact about the chard is that it is young and tender. It will be very bitter to be eaten raw, so make sure that you use a mature one.
4. Collard Greens
Collard greens are another recommendation for replacing mustard greens. Even though they don’t have that strong mustard flavor if used raw, once they are cooked they are very similar to mustard greens.
The heat mellows the flavors of the collard greens and brings the earthiness out of them. Also, they share a similar texture, so they’re a good substitute for each other in recipes.
You can find them throughout the year at the grocery store. They are also healthy and nutritious, so collard greens have good use in your cooking.
5. English Spinach
The English spinach is also an alternative to mustard green in your cooking. The green and spinach taste is what makes them similar. The oval leaves and green stems are edible. Spinach is very healthy since it contains dietary fiber and vitamin C.
Meaning, it can provide a lot of benefits to your immune system. You can add these leaves to all the dishes that require mustard green. Even though English spinach is not good to be eaten raw, make sure to cook it before use.
6. Chinese Broccoli
Another green veggie that will be a good substitute for mustard green is Chinese Broccoli. Even though the stems of the Chinese Broccoli are thicker and the leaves are smaller than those of the mustard greens, they are a good substitute for each other.
The similarities appear best when the broccoli is cooked. The earthy and bitter taste provides good tones to food.
They are typically not recommended for recipes that call for raw mustard greens. Chinese broccoli is typically used as part of Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisine. You can also use it for stir-fries.
7. Baby Spinach Leaves
Another type of spinach that serves as a good substitute for mustard greens is the baby spinach leaves. One of the best replacements that you can find. These soft, tender leaves are good for most recipes that call for mustard greens.
Their bitter taste is what makes them similar to mustard greens. Both the leaves and stems can be eaten raw. Furthermore, you have the opportunity here to add some grated horseradish or mustard to imitate the flavors.
8. Fenugreek leaves
An annual herb that is yet another option for mustard greens in your cooking is the Fenugreek leaves. These leaves have a nutty and sweet flavor which comes as a mixture of maple and celery.
Typically, fenugreek leaves are used as a spice, but the leaves are perfect for replacing the mustard greens. They are typical in Indian food and can easily adapt to the other ingredients in your recipe.
9. Dandelion Greens
Mustard greens have another replacement and that is the dandelion greens. These greens have a peppery flavor with mild traces and they are typically used for salads. It is good to choose the mature ones since they are more suitable for cooking.
They can be used in most recipes that call for mustard greens. The only big disadvantage is that they might be difficult to find at the grocery store.
Another type of green leaves that are good for replacing mustard greens is escarole. These light-colored leaves have a vegetal taste and bitter tones, so they are perfect for cooking and substituting mustard greens.
They are similar to spinach but considered to be even better. Use escarole in salads, slow-cook dishes, boiling, steaming, or practically just if you would’ve used any leaves.
Are mustard greens similar to kale?
When compared, Kale is very similar to mustard greens. Therefore, they can both serve as a substitute for each other. When cooked, mustard greens and kale have a similar taste. However, raw kale has a different taste and lacks the horseradish and wasabi taste.
Are mustard greens and collard greens the same thing?
Actually no. Even though they are similar, the main difference that separates mustard greens from collard greens is that they are considered to be different things. Mustard greens are said to be a herb, whereas collard greens belong to the cabbage family. The flavors are also different.
Can you substitute mustard greens for collard greens?
Yes, you can. You can use them as a substitute especially for salads, then you can use them in sandwiches or cook them as you please.
Do mustard greens taste like spinach?
Mustard greens have a similar taste to spinach when it’s cooked. But other than that when it’s raw it has a bitter taste like kale and peppery flavors like arugula.