What does mustard seed taste like?

Mustard seeds come in different colors – black, brown, and yellow. The playful spice is common in Asian, Indian, and European cuisines. Some folks like to throw the seeds into a chicken braise or beef with wine. But have you ever wondered what they taste like?

What does mustard seed taste like?

The most popular varieties of mustard seeds are a little spicy and slightly sweet. The fresh, clean aroma can cut through ingredients like beef or butter sauce. The seeds can also pick up the flavor of mild ingredients like legumes, potatoes, and seafood. Others like to include bean dishes and curries. When mustard seeds are cooked, they exhibit a strong pungent flavor. The heat on the seeds is caused by myrosinase.

You can only feel the actual taste if you bite them or make a powder paste. The taste lingers on the mouth for longer and can make your nose tickle. If you smell the seeds as a whole, you may even dismiss the spice.

Black mustard seeds

Black mustard seeds are a little bitter and have a mellow tasting. The intense pungency starts from the mouth followed by a sensation in the sinuses. Mustard seeds contain glucosinolates which are responsible for the pungent flavor.

Black mustard seeds are common in Indian cuisines. They exhibit an intense flavor that is hot compared to other varieties but sweetens when fried or roasted. The aromatic nutty taste can be likened to that of horseradish and Wasabi. And you can feel the actual taste of the seeds if you bite into them.

Keep in mind that black mustards are not black – they have a dark shade of brown. That’s why people refer to them as black.

Yellow Mustard

Yellow Mustard seeds are the most popular and commercially grown seeds. You must have picked some in the supermarkets to make pickling spice. They are a bit more balanced and lack an intense flavor. If you want to use a dollop of tangy mustard, you get a floral flavor. This is what you use to spice up nachos, coleslaw, sandwiches, and barbecue plates. Yellow mustards are common in American kitchens.

Brown seeds

The brown seeds have a flavor close to Dijon and are smaller than the two varieties. They rate it as 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. When toasted or fried, the brown seeds provide a nutty flavor. Under medium heat, the seeds exhibit an earthy, pungent flavor.

Brown mustard seeds pair well with cumin, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, and dill. But again, they can be slightly bitter. Some believe that brown seeds are more like grey. There’s no clear distinction between the two in terms of taste. The color depends on the tree they came from.

By comparison, brown seeds can be likened to crushed red pepper. They are common in Indian cuisines.

White mustard contains a pungent flavor, like sinalbin. The heat travels up the nose while the heat stays on the tongue. If you combine white and brown mustard seeds, they exhibit a milder flavor commonly used in seasoning.

How to eat mustard seeds

Mustard can be used on burgers, pretzels, and hot dogs. Alternatively, you can add healthy seeds to your diet. Still, you can steep the seeds in warm milk, whisk them into salad dressings or make a mustard paste.

Mustard paste is the most popular condiment. It’s a simple way to add calcium, iron, phosphorous, and selenium to your diet.

Did you know that you can cook mustard seed to achieve full flavors?

Black mustard seeds are known for their pungent flavor and help with digestion. When added to milk, they give a flavor similar to horseradish.

One of the trendy ways to incorporate mustard seeds into your diet is cooking them. You can also add them to a skillet or fry them, just like popcorns. Some chefs sprinkle on sandwich recipes.

For homemade condiments

One key trait of mustard seeds is that they exhibit a pungent flavor. If you want to achieve a signature taste, you should soak the seeds for one day.

To make a mustard sauce, you can ground the seeds and add water and vinegar. But here is the trick. The longer they sit, the milder the flavor. Myrosine is not activated until the seeds get into contact with water. This explains why the seeds are added to brines as they are.

Once you leave the mustard for two days, you should taste it to see if it has achieved the taste that you want.

Other cooking ideas are:

Roasting mustard seeds in warm oil to make soup and curries. This helps to release the natural oils fast. Be careful not to burn them if the oil is too hot.

Chewing the mustard seeds

If you want to get the most nutritional value, you can chew raw seeds. One spoonful is enough to prepare an appetite snack. Besides, chewing the seeds can provide immediate relief from congestion, constipation, and back spasms.

Mustard seeds and honey combination

If you want to bring heat sweet to your salads, the mustard seed and honey are a great combination. Just take a batch of raw seeds and add some honey.


  • Soak half a cup of mustard seed
  • Place the seeds in a blender and then add two tablespoons of honey and half tsp. of salt to maintain consistency.
  • Adjust the flavors to suit your taste

The little seeds won’t blend in their dry state – you need to hydrate them. Depending on the style you’re aiming for, you can use water or vinegar. A little wine can also add some spiciness factor. Regardless of the liquid you use, you should soak the seeds for at least four hours.

The advantage of the blender method is that you can achieve the consistency you prefer. Since mustard is a mild natural spice, you can pair it with cauliflower, lamb, meat, cabbage, green beans, ginger, chicken, and peas. You can experiment with this recipe with brown mustard seeds.

If you want to be a little creative, you can substitute honey with vinegar. A combination of mustard seeds with herbs like cumin, garlic, or rosemary will create something new. Of course, a little turmeric can help to add a yellow color.

Wrap up

Mustard seeds are used to flavor many dishes around the globe. Whether you choose yellow, brown, or black mustard seeds, the flavor range from mildly spicy, bitter, to super spicy. It’s the best way to enjoy homemade creamy sauces and salad dressing.

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