What’s A Good Mustard Substitute?

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Mustard is great for introducing a sharp and spicy note to savory foods but the flavor isn’t popular with everyone. Whether you need a mustard substitute because you don’t like the taste of the yellow condiment or because you used up the last of the bottle and forgot to buy more, there are quite a few mustard substitutes. Here are some of them:

Your best bet: Horseradish

Horseradish is one of the most divisive flavors as condiments go and it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about mustard substitutes.

Here’s what horseradish has going for it: it is the root of a plant that is in the same Brassicaceae family as mustard. Brassicaceae is the botanical family that includes radishes, cabbages, and kale. Horseradish is very pungent, with peppery heat and pungency that work together to create a result very similar to mustard.

The most common forms of horseradish are prepared horseradish and horseradish sauce. Prepared horseradish consists of horseradish that has been grated and then combined with vinegar and salt; horseradish sauce consists of horseradish combined with heavy cream, sour cream or mayonnaise. Horseradish sauce has a smooth, thick consistency similar to the consistency of prepared mustard.

Note that prepared horseradish root is quite a bit stronger than mustard seed. When using it in place of mustard, start with only half as much and add more to taste. You can use horseradish sauce as a 1:1 substitute.

A decent second choice: Mayonnaise

For many, mayonnaise is on the bland side when compared to mustard. It is generally considered to be little more than a food lubricant and binding agent. However, it contains a lot of vinegar just like mustard.

What’s more, classic mayonnaise recipes all include a significant amount of dry mustard. The mayonnaise flavor profile is just a diluted form of prepared mustard. It has a few additional ingredients but the combination of mustard with acidity is still there. Mayonnaise will give you a milder version of mustard’s distinctive sharpness.

If you find that your mayonnaise does not have enough of the mustard tang, grind some mustard seeds and add them to it.

In a pinch: Make your own

Prepared mustard is a pretty basic condiment. It’s easy to make as all its ingredients are common and easy to source. The essentials include dry mustard, garlic, and vinegar but may also include wine and onion. Even though it is simple to make, it is not an ideal prepared mustard substitute because of how long it takes. To make mustard and get the true prepared mustard flavor, you will need to make it at least a week before you intend to use it.

You can adjust the thickness of your homemade mustard by increasing or reducing the ratio of seeds to other ingredients. More seeds make it thicker.

Other alternatives

While Worcestershire sauce may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of prepared mustard, it can work as a substitute in some applications. It does not have mustard’s thick consistency, but it has a similar tangy flavor due to its vinegar and garlic content.

Since you can’t spread Worcestershire sauce on your bread directly because of how watery it is, mix it with mayonnaise to make it spreadable and to mellow out its umami notes.


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