How to Make Mustard

Making this super-simple mustard couldn’t be easier, but plan ahead. It won’t be ready for at least two weeks, and likely three. It takes at least that long for your homemade mustard to work its magic, and for the flavors to properly meld and settle down. If you taste it right after you mix it up, you’re not going to like what happens to your mouth and, ultimately, your face; the fresh mixture is very, very bitter and unpleasant. In fact, don’t even bother tasting it until you’ve let it mellow for two weeks.

Powdered mustard is expensive, but don’t bother buying whole seed and grinding it up. The flavor just isn’t as strong as it is when you buy it pre-ground. Buying it at the supermarket doesn’t make blending your own mustard any more cost-effective than buying bottled, prepared mustard (try bulk food or Indian specialty markets for inexpensive ground mustard), but it does give you a base from which you can spin off several different mustard variations; we’ll outline a few after the recipe.

Mustard
(Makes about a cup)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Method:

Combine all ingredients and stir until combined. Cover and store in a cool, dark place for two weeks. If it’s still too bitter, let it sit another week. Scrape into a clean glass jar, and store in the refrigerator, up to three months.

Variations:

Chinese Hot Mustard:
Add the following to the above base recipe: 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Honey Lime Mustard:
Substitute 1/2 cup honey for the sugar in the above base recipe, and use 1/2 cup fresh lime juice instead of vinegar

White Wine Mustard:
Substitute 1/2 cup white wine, in place of vinegar in the above base recipe

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

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