Mustard oil has gained world popularity no matter how scarce it could get because of its unique and strong flavor profile. It’s nutty, pungent, and just satisfying to add to any type of dish.
However, in some locations, it’s just hard to find such good mustard oil. Don’t fret because there are some substitutes you can use when it’s not available.
You can use rice bran oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, truffle olive oil, garlic oil, rosemary oil, or sesame oil instead. Let’s discuss each substitute in great detail and learn how and when to use it.
Substitutes for Mustard Oil
1. Rice Bran Oil
Rice has an outer layer that’s brown in color, which is the chaff. That’s where the oil comes from. Rice bran oil is one of the healthiest oil choices, especially when it’s unrefined. That’s when you get the best of its nutrients in every content.
It’s perfect for high heat cooking, like deep frying or stir-fried dishes. Unrefined rice bran oil has a lower shelf life, so make sure that you store it in the fridge for longer preservation.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil is another healthy alternative. Most people prefer extra virgin oil because of its purest form and taste, unlike regular olive oils.
On top of that, you get the best of its nutrients when opting for the extra virgin one. Perfect for sauteing, salad dressings, dip and glaze for pizzas or bread.
3. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is another common substitute for mustard oil. Extracted from sunflower seeds, this oil has a brighter yellow color with a distinct flavor that can match with mustard oil.
It’s ideal for making fried foods for a clean and less greasy result. It’s also one of the healthiest options you can get as it promotes heart health and has lower cholesterol.
4. Peanut Oil
For a more defined flavor, aroma, and color, peanut oil is the best bet over mustard oil. For sure you will have a much flavorful taste in the dish plus the bonus aroma that it provides.
It is perfect for deep frying, stir fry, sautee, sauces, and dips. I use it when making barbecue marinades. It just adds that distinct aroma and moisture to the meat.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also a great candidate over mustard oil. Although it’s lighter compared to the latter, its aroma is worth the try as well as the great health benefits it offers.
Coconut oil is highly preferred for desserts or baked goods, it still works well with savory dishes. Also, it’s one of the excellent cooking oils with a great shelf life for a long period of usage.
6. Balsamic Vinegar
Surprisingly, balsamic vinegar is a good substitute for mustard oil. Mustard oil has a strong flavor that resembles balsamic vinegar. It’s quite smoky, acidic, and pungent. If you like mustard oil with your salads or appetizers, consider using balsamic vinegar instead to achieve almost the same consistency. Just add a teaspoon of olive oil to add more moisture and flavor.
7. Truffle Olive Oil
Instead of picking a regular olive oil, try infused or flavored ones. I like truffle olive oil. It’s more expensive than the rest of the entries on this list, but it’s worth every buck.
You can add this oil to different dishes that ask for mustard oil. You can also make a pasta sauce, oil dip, salad sauce, or use it for a low heat saute just for flavor. Truffles are a type of scarce mushrooms that is pungent but flavorful and aromatic.
8. Garlic Olive Oil
If you’re a big fan of anything garlic-y, garlic-infused olive oil is a good alternative. It is stronger compared to mustard oil but it totally does the trick. They both have the same spice flavor that just brings out a unique take on the dish.
Don’t use this for deep frying or cooking over high heat as it burns quickly. It’s perfect for making pasta sauces, oil dips, vinaigrettes, or just a topping for bread and pizzas.
9. Rosemary Olive Oil
Another surprising entry in our list is rosemary-infused olive oil. It’s no secret that rosemary is one of the highly aromatic herbs in the kitchen that you can never go wrong with.
Go outside the box and use it other than roasting rotisseries. It is a perfect substitute for mustard oil because of its aroma and subtle flavor.
Spice up your salad vinaigrettes, sauteed dishes, and even the stir-fried ones. Rosemary olive oil will surely add that herb effect to every dish.
10. Sesame Oil
Finally, one of my favorite vegetable oils for any dish is sesame oil.
Highly fragrant, flavorful, and deep in color. Mostly common in Asian dishes, it has now gained approval internationally because of its distinct flavor and characteristics.
Just like mustard oil, it is extracted from the seeds and has a strong aroma that sets it apart from other oils. No wonder sesame oil is the most preferred choice when substituting mustard oil.
What makes mustard oil good for you?
Mustard oil is a great anti-inflammatory agent that fights any bodily pain, infection, and even cancer growth. It prevents the formation of different bacteria and viruses inside the body. When cosmetically used, it provides aid to have stronger and healthier hair and skin.
Why is mustard oil banned in the US?
Mustard oil is banned in the US, EU, and Canada because of erucic acid which could cause some harmful side effects to the body.
That’s the reason why these continents suggest having it used externally instead of consuming it as food. Expect that you will not see any mustard oil in these countries.
Is mustard oil better than olive oil?
The majority of researchers attested to mustard oil’s health benefits as it has a good amount of fatty acids. It’s packed with omega-3 and omega-6 that olive oil doesn’t have. Just ensure that this will be consumed in moderation to avoid overdosing with erucic acid.
Truth be told, mustard oil is not that bad at all. In fact, it has a lot of health benefits that other oils don’t have.
If it’s banned or unavailable in your country, try some of the substitutes we’ve listed above. Also remember, that anything taken in high content will always have its own negative effects.