Dry mustard, otherwise known as English mustard, is a powdered spice made from the seeds of the mustard plant. It’s usually made from brown and white mustard seeds, so it’s not yellow like its eponymous condiment, mustard, which get its hue from the addition of turmeric. If you don’t have dry mustard on hand, you can create a similar flavor with mustard seeds, prepared mustard, wasabi powder, or horseradish.
Dry Mustard’s Role in Cooking
Dry mustard is used to add heat and pungency, to emulsify sauces and dressings, and to make mustard (the condiment). Finding the right substitute for dry mustard depends on what you’re making. For instance, in a salad dressing, prepared mustard is appropriate, but if you’re compounding a spice rub, powdered wasabi or horseradish is the way to go. Think carefully about the part dry mustard is supposed to play in your recipe before choosing a replacement.
If you have mustard seeds on hand, you can create dry mustard yourself—all you have to do is grind the seeds in a clean coffee or spice grinder, or crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle or with the back of a spoon. Crushed mustard seeds can sub in for dry mustard in some salads, stews, and spice rubs. However, they can’t be used to emulsify sauces and dressings. Use roughly half as much mustard seed as you would dry mustard.
To replace dry mustard with prepared mustard, the general ratio is 1 tablespoon prepared mustard for 1 teaspoon dry mustard. Dijon mustard is a better option than standard yellow mustard since Dijon is more similar in flavor to dry mustard. Use this substitute in sauces and dressings.
Wasabi powder is a great alternative to dry mustard because they have a similar consistency and their plants are close relatives. Some cooks even prefer wasabi over dry mustard because the former can give conventional condiments like mayonnaise and vinaigrette extra zip. Keep in mind that wasabi powder is a bit hotter than dry mustard, so you might want to use smaller quantities.
Like wasabi (which is actually a type of Japanese horseradish), horseradish is a relative of the mustard plant and is available in powdered form. It’s slightly hotter and slightly more sour than dry mustard. Horseradish powder is best used as a substitute in cold dishes, rather than in hot ones, because it can lose its spice when exposed to heat. If you’re cooking a spicy dish, horseradish powder may not give you the kick you desire. Steer clear of prepared or “wet” horseradish—it consists of vinegar mixed with grated horseradish root, and so it has a totally different flavor.