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The Best Mustard Seed Substitutes You Can Use When You Can’t Find One

Mustard seeds are one of those spices that are quite hard to come by. Frustrating, right? While it is possible for you just to leave out this ingredient, depending on what dish you are making, it will alter the taste of the dish as a whole, and this is something we would like to prevent from happening.

There are mustard seed substitutes you can use depending on what you need, though it is possible to find processed ones like the powdered and dried variations. This is a very pungent spice that will give your recipe a character all its own so leaving it out can alter the flavors you are trying to achieve.

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The Best Mustard Seed Substitutes You Can Use When You Can’t Find One

Mustard Seed Types

Mustard seeds come in different varieties, depicted by its color for the most part. One thing to note about these seeds is that the darker the color, the stronger the taste and the aroma becomes. Here are the most common types of mustard seeds you are likely to encounter in recipes:

Yellow Mustard Seeds

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Yellow mustard seeds may also be referred to as white mustard seeds. Don’t be confused if a recipe calls for a white one because it will be pertaining to the same thing. Yellow mustard seeds are often used in making pickles or relish when in their whole form.

Note though that the whole forms are the ones that are often referred to as white mustard seeds, while the powdered ones will be better known as the yellow mustard seed due to the color, which may have been enhanced by food coloring.

These seeds are also available in both dried form and ground form, though you can also get prepared mustard which has been processed to be used as a condiment.

  • Mustard Seed Substituting Options:
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If your recipe calls for whole yellow mustard seeds, you can substitute with either powdered mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds or black mustard seeds. Remember that both brown and black mustard seeds have a stronger flavor.

Add a little bit at a time until you achieve the desired potency.If you need a yellow mustard seed substitute for consistency purposes but do not mind leaving out the flavor, you can use a mayonnaise instead.

Brown Mustard Seeds

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Brown mustard seeds have a stronger taste compared to the yellow ones, though not as strong as the black ones. They are believed to have originated from the Himalayas region and are popularly used as an ingredient in Indian recipes, as well as both Asian and Southern Mediterranean recipes.

If you have ever come across an English mustard, note that it is often made with both white and brown mustard seeds and will give you flavors somewhere in between.

  • Mustard Seed Substituting Options:
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You can substitute brown mustard seeds with black mustard seeds. Black mustard seeds have a stronger flavor. Add a little bit at a time until you achieve the desired potency. If substituting is due to allergies, you can also use either wasabi or horseradish.

Black Mustard Seeds

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Black mustard seeds are very spicy and pungent with a much stronger flavor compared to both the yellow and brown varieties.

They have Middle Eastern and Southern Mediterranean origins which make them a very popular ingredient in the specialty dishes from these areas. These black varieties are harder to get, mostly due to higher costs in harvesting and growing them.

In addition to the flavor, these black mustard seeds are also known to be good for people who are suffering from respiratory syndromes.

  • Mustard Seed Substituting Options:
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You can use brown mustard seeds as a substitute for black mustard seeds, but you will have to use more to achieve the same potency.

Note that using more brown mustard seeds can affect the thickness of your soup or sauce. You can also use either wasabi or horseradish.

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Tips For Substituting Highlights

  • Yellow or white mustard seeds are used primarily to thicken the soup or sauce of a dish.
  • Use mayonnaise in place of yellow or white mustard seeds to leave out the flavor but achieve the same consistency.
  • Brown and black mustard seeds are very pungent, but you can use either wasabi or horseradish to replace it.
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  • Some wasabis are made from mustard seeds, so check the label before use if the reason for substituting is because of allergies.
  • Used processed variations with caution. It will have a different chemical reaction compared to the whole varieties while cooking and may change not only the consistency but also the flavors.
  • If to be used with other strong spices and herbs, mustard seeds can be left out. It will go unnoticed especially if the dish is to be cooked.

Mustard seeds have a unique taste that may not taste good on its own but can really transform a dish into something very stimulating to the palate which can make you eat more without even realizing it!

If you don’t have it available, substitute with the ingredients we have recommended and let us know what you think. Share with your friends if you have found this article useful.

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