26 Nov2006


I was at the FTI Market in Taguig early yesterday morning and came across these spectacularly fresh and terrific looking mustasa or mustard greens (Brassica juncea var.) that the vendor claimed were organically grown. I stopped because I was reminded of a conversation the other night at the Dante Alighieri dinner with “Frayed,” a reader, regarding truly “organic” produce. By the U.S. definitions, truly “organic” means not only has the soil the produce has been grown in has been free of fertilizers, insecticides, etc. for 5 or more years, but the greens themselves haven’t been pumped up, sprayed with or altered by anything “bad.” In this case, the table belonged to AANI, the organizers of the Saturday Market and the group has screened in greenhouses wherein they grow this wonderful leafy produce without insecticides…

I only know how to use wickedly fresh mustasa in one recipe…a salad that I first ate at the Milky Way Café last year and found to be a perfect bracing match for fried or grilled fish or pork. It is bitterish, aromatic, strong, pungent and a perfect foil for an even stronger dressing of bagoong and kalamansi. I have featured the recipe before and I know it may strike many of you as being a bit esoteric…but please try it the next time you run across irresistibly good-looking mustasa. Yum. We made the salad for lunch yesterday and I am almost certain the greens couldn’t have been picked more than a few hours before…



  1. anthony says:

    Hi MM! I remember in my younger days, My family traveled to binangonan rizal from Quezon City just to eat sinigang na kanduli with miso and mustasa . This went really well with inihaw na baboy. Your salad looks very interesting. I should try it! regards again.

    Nov 26, 2006 | 12:11 pm


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  3. ntgerald says:

    For fresh mustasa salad, I slice the leaves and then drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar mixed with a bit of brown surgar. Then I top it with sliced salted eggs and salad tomatoes.

    Nov 26, 2006 | 1:03 pm

  4. tulip aka pinaygourmand says:

    Try wrapping a seasoned mixture of ground meat with it and steam it. A cross between lumpia and embutido. And comparable to how Chinese omelets are made(sauteed veggies,shrimps,eggs, wrapped with a sheet of fried crepe thin eggs).

    Nov 26, 2006 | 2:01 pm

  5. catalina says:

    Anthony is correct. Mustard greens are perfect for Sinigang na Kanduli sa Miso — a specialty dish in the lakeside towns of Rizal.

    Nov 26, 2006 | 3:13 pm

  6. kulasa says:

    Have you ever tried burong mustasa? My dad cuts it up, wrings out some of the juice from the stems, then puts a little salt and rice washing. Puts it in s sterilized bottle and it’s ready in about 3-4 days. Put some tomatoes and it’s goes well with inihaw. The smell can turn you off it taste so good.

    Nov 26, 2006 | 4:50 pm

  7. frayed says:

    I keep seeing nice-looking mustasa but never know how to use it other than sinigang na kanduli in miso (too ambitious for me but I love that!). Will check it out as a salad and see..

    Btw, I went to Salcedo Market yesterday (after that conversation on organic veg) and accusingly asked the organic veg stall why their vegetables looked so nice (TOO nice) – after all, most organic produce looks a bit kawawa, right? They said because they are in greenhouses. Um, that answer was good enought for me. She (the girl at the stall) said it with much conviction (they might be trained to answer these questions), but I’ll just have to believe them for now as I have no choice. There really should be an agency that certifies organic veg here in the Phils.

    Nov 26, 2006 | 5:16 pm

  8. millet says:

    your salad sounds like it would be the perfect foil for inihaw na liempo or lechon kawali or crispy pata. have to get some mustasa next weekend for sunday lunch. a friend always eats lechon skin with a mustasa leaf wrapped around it. terrific pair! we make burong mustasa into a salad by adding tomatoes and thinly sliced onions – the burong mustasa’s salty-sour combination makes any other dressing superfluous.

    Nov 26, 2006 | 8:53 pm

  9. KB says:

    Can I get directions to FTI Market in Taguig? Is it open everyday or just the weekends? Excuse my cluelessness :–)

    Nov 26, 2006 | 10:22 pm

  10. ykmd says:

    Burong mustasa with fried fish-perfect!

    Nov 26, 2006 | 11:04 pm

  11. anonymous paul says:

    the tagalogs (bulacan) and pampanguenos use the mustasa leaves as “wrapper” to home-made buro and crispy-fried dalag or hito. don’t really know how to make the buro but it has to do something with putting fish and rice together with some pink powder and leave it in a jar for a few days. turns into this pungent, savory paste….yes, pretty much acquired taste. but together with the fried fish and wrapped with mustasa leaves……pretty good.

    Nov 27, 2006 | 12:36 am

  12. alicia says:

    There are some great suggestions here on how to use mustasa. I always want to buy mustasa but am not sure what to do with it outside my sinigang. Thank you to all the readers who left suggestions and to you market man for featuring mustasa!

    Nov 27, 2006 | 8:36 am

  13. Sidekick says:

    I tried eating fresh mustasa together with a well done steak at a family dinner in Covina. Perfect… I like it very much.

    Nov 27, 2006 | 10:41 am

  14. RT Gonzales says:

    as we speak, there is a new committee for Organic Standars being formed for the sole purpose of overseeing the organic farming standanrs. E.O. 481 signed by GMA states that no body can just label their produce organic without passing organic standarns setup by the Philippine National Organic Standards and certified by OCCP and other authorized certifying body duly inspeted by accredited organic inspectors.

    Nov 28, 2006 | 8:45 am

  15. veronica says:

    Hello Everybody my name is veronica Im in usa I have been looking for recipe for mustasa I bought this because vegetable because its so fresh but I dont have any recipe yet until I stumle into this website I am so happy to see a lot of kababayan talk abaout our food !

    Apr 14, 2009 | 10:05 pm

  16. lady philo says:

    Tagalogs really know how to make burong mustasa. One time a relative of mine came from San Pablo Laguna and brought burong mustasa. I tried it with fried fish, man..! It was superb! They told me it was a normal food of Tagalog. Would you imagine i browsed on how to make it which is as simple as abc. Let see in a weeks time how well i made my burong mustasa.

    Jun 15, 2009 | 11:23 pm


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