Discover pickled mustard seeds, a versatile condiment that adds a burst of flavor and unique texture to any dish. Packed with tangy and spicy flavors, this pickled mustard seeds recipe, along with our Dijon Mustard Recipe, can elevate your dishes to new heights.
If you’re into pickling recipes, check out these favorites: Pickled Green Tomatoes, Pickled Peppers, Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Banana Peppers, Pickled Red Onions, Pickled Daikon, Pickled Peaches and Pickled Cucumbers.
What Are Pickled Mustard Seeds?
Pickled mustard seeds, also referred to as mustard caviar, are a flavorful condiment made by soaking whole mustard seeds in a vinegar brine. The dry seeds take on the bold vinegar flavor to add an element of acidic flavor to anything it’s added to.
Here are the key ingredients to make this pickled mustard seed recipe. For the full list of ingredients, reference the recipe card below.
- Mustard Seeds
- White Wine Vinegar
- Brown Sugar
- Kosher Salt
For pickling, a 5-6% acetic acid vinegar is recommended as it provides enough tartness without overpowering the natural flavors.
How To Make
The pickling process is simple and quick. Here’s a brief overview of the key steps. The full list of instructions is in the recipe card below:
- Blanching – This is an optional step to remove the excess bitterness.
- Making The Condiment – Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and simmer away!
Types of Seeds
There are 3 different types to consider using. All will work well, however will provide different final results. You can also mix and match.
Yellow Mustard Seeds
Yellow mustard seeds, also known as white mustard seeds, are tiny, round seeds of the plant. Yellow seeds have a mild, slightly spicy flavor. Despite their small size, they pack a flavorful punch and add a unique touch to many dishes.
They are the most commonly used types of mustard seeds. The names “yellow” and “white” refer to the color of the seeds when they are dry.
Brown Mustard Seeds
Brown mustard seeds are small, round seeds of the plant that have a deep, nutty flavor with a rich, dark brown color.
They have a slightly stronger flavor compared to yellow or white varietals, which makes for a more robust and spicy pickled mustard seeds recipe.
Black Mustard Seeds
Black mustard seeds are the small round seeds of the plant. They have a strong and nutty flavor and aroma. The black varietal is harder to find than yellow or brown. Additional details can be read on wikipedia.
Blanching The Seeds
Mustard seeds can be bitter, particularly the brown and black seeds. To remove some of the bitterness, blanch the seeds in boiling water a few times before proceeding with the recipe.
We tend to omit this step when utilizing yellow seeds, as we don’t find them overly bitter, but it’s up to you.
Sweet – To sweeten up the final product, increase the sugar by 1 tablespoon. We do recommend tasting the initial vinegar brine first to get a baseline flavor.
Spicy – If you love spice add in some red pepper flakes, to taste.
Vinegar – Use any vinegar you prefer. We prefer white wine vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar also work.
Top 9 Serving Ideas
Pickled Mustard Seeds can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for incorporating them into your favorite dishes.
- Eggs – Smoked Deviled Eggs
- Charcuterie Platter
- Corned Beef Condiment (How to Cook Corned Beef)
- Potato Salad (Ensalada de Papa)
- Sandwich Spread
- Salad Dressing
- Beef or Lamb Condiment (Smoked Leg of Lamb, Picanha)
- Seafood Condiment
- Sauce Component (Mushroom Sauce)
Store the pickled seeds in an airtight glass container, away from direct sunlight and heat to prevent spoilage. Ideally, place the jar in a cool, dark pantry or cupboard for optimal preservation.
Monitor the final product for any signs of mold or off-odors, and discard if any irregularities are detected. If in doubt, throw it out!
- Start by adding a small amount of pickled mustard seeds to your dishes, as their tangy and spicy flavors can be quite intense.
- Pair pickled mustard seeds with creamy ingredients, like goat cheese or avocado, to balance their bold flavor. Think avocado toast!
- Once jarred, marinate for a minimum of 24 hours, if you can. The longer they marinate the more flavorful they will be.
This recipe hasn’t been tested for canning. If canning, follow the proper canning methods as outlined on the NCHFP website.
Pickled mustard seed have a rich history, originating in ancient India and China over 2,000 years ago. They were valued for their unique flavor and preservative qualities, which made them an essential ingredient in traditional recipes and a crucial element in long-distance trade. As trade routes expanded, they made their way to Europe, where they became an integral part of culinary traditions in France and England.
Today, it remain a popular condiment worldwide, appreciated for their tangy taste and versatility in both traditional and modern dishes.
- ⅓ cup mustard seeds (*Note 1)
- ½ cup water, plus more if blanching the seeds
- ½ cup white wine vinegar (*Note 2)
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
OPTIONAL: BLANCH THE SEEDS
- Add the mustard seeds to a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Immediately strain through a fine mesh strainer. Repeat this step 1 more time to remove any excess bitterness from the seeds.
PICKLE THE MUSTARD SEEDS
- Add the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and bay leaf to the saucepan with the drained mustard seeds and stir to combine.
- Bring the brine to a boil before reducing to a low simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the majority of the brine has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat and stir in the shallots. Let cool before transferring to an airtight container in the refrigerator.