Why This Recipe Works
- Blanching the mustard seeds a few times removes any potential bitterness.
- Mustard seeds plump up when brined, giving them a caviar-like texture that pops in your mouth for little bursts of flavor.
Pickled mustard seeds make a great garnish anywhere mustard would be appropriate—on eggs, dolloped on vegetable soups, in sandwiches, on roasted meats, and in sauces and marinades. We're especially partial to using them on these extra-mustardy deviled eggs.
Pickled Mustard Seeds Recipe
Cooking down whole yellow mustard seeds in seasoned vinegar simultaneously plumps them up and tames their intense burn, for a condiment or garnish that's sweet, briny, and mildly hot.
For the Brine:
175ml (about 3/4 cup) white wine vinegar
125ml (about 1/2 cup) cider vinegar
150ml (about 2/3 cup) water
50ml (about 1/4 cup) rye whiskey (see note)
2 bay leaves
150g (about 3/4 cup) brown sugar
10g (about 1 tablespoon) kosher salt
For the Seeds:
200g (about 1 cup) yellow mustard seeds
For the Brine: Combine white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, water, whiskey, bay leaves, brown sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Set aside, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
For the Seeds: Meanwhile, place seeds in a clean saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then drain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the water. Repeat until the discarded water does not taste bitter. This can take between 1 and 8 repetitions.
Transfer blanched and drained mustard seeds to the pot with the brine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer and cook until the seeds have plumped up and the liquid has reduced by about one-third, 15 to 20 minutes. Without draining brine, transfer seeds to a sealable container, let cool at room temperature, then seal and refrigerate until ready to use. The seeds will mature in flavor over the course of a few days.
You can omit the whiskey. The seeds can be used immediately, but will improve in flavor over time.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Pickled mustard seeds can be stored for months in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
This Recipe Appears In
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||3%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|