Some meat dishes, vinaigrettes, and dips aren’t complete without mustard powder. Mustard powder adds that pungent, unique taste that we all seem to love. Its absence is truly noticeable, and sauces just aren’t the same without it.
The best substitutes for mustard powder are turmeric powder, wasabi powder, horseradish powder, prepared mustard, mustard seed, and arugula.
Mustard Powder Substitutes
Here’s how you can substitute mustard powder with the substitutes suggested above.
1. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric powder is a very common ingredient in Central and Southeast Asia. It is famous for its vibrant yellow color and its aroma and bitter-peppery flavor. Not only that, this powder is a super-spice due to its numerous health benefits. I actually put it in my tea or when making soups whenever I’m sick.
This is an excellent substitute for mustard powder because it matches in flavor and color as well. Just remember that turmeric powder has a subtle hint of bitterness, so be careful to not add too much to your dish. But if you like the taste of it, go ahead and splurge!
It’s also perfect to use in soups and as a dry rub marinade for meats and vegetables. The substitution is also simple, just use 1:1 to start with. If you need more, you can always add it later on.
2. Wasabi Powder
Wasabi powder is the powdered form of the wasabi paste, which we often see in sushi restaurants. It’s a perfect pairing with raw fish dishes like sashimi and sushi. Popular in Japan, it has now taken the world by storm because of its unique, spicy taste.
However, amidst its popularity, there are still some people who are not fans of wasabi because of its intensity. Some of you might be surprised to hear that wasabi comes from the horseradish family (which is also considered to be mustard). This is why it’s a good substitute for mustard powder! Yes, you heard that right!
Wasabi powder can be used for making dips and vinaigrettes instead of mustard seed. When substituting, only use a half teaspoon of wasabi powder for every 1 tablespoon of mustard powder. Again, remember to use this in moderation if you don’t like the dip to be too strong.
3. Horseradish Powder
Pretty much the same as wasabi powder, horseradish is also an excellent substitute for mustard powder. It’s actually milder and more aromatic than wasabi powder so is a good option if you don’t want the dish to be too spicy.
Horseradish powder acts pretty much just like mustard powder. You can use it for any dish including marinade sauce, glaze, dips, salad dressings, and soups. It’s also readily available in most grocery stores, and comes in a range of different brands.
Substitute 1 teaspoon of horseradish powder for every 1 teaspoon of mustard powder. Truth be told, this substitution provides the same results as mustard powder, which is why I personally like using this one whenever I’m out of mustard. Make sure to keep some of this in your pantry, for the next time you run out of mustard powder!
4. Prepared Mustard
Although prepared mustard takes a different form from mustard powder, it’s still pretty much the same thing. Prepared mustard is just the wet form of mustard, and has a paste-like texture.
You can also prepare this yourself from scratch. All you need is water, vinegar, and some dry mustard. Mix it in a food processor or a blender. You can also pound it with a mortar and pestle if that’s all you have at home.
For the substitution, this is where it varies. Take note that mustard powder is concentrated because it’s still in its original form compared to prepared mustard. When substituting, use 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard for every 1 teaspoon of mustard powder. Rest assured that this substitution will retain the flavor of your dish.
5. Mustard Seed
Mustard seed in its truest form can be used as a substitute, that’s because you can make a powder from it. There are a lot of brands that sell mustard seeds, like McCormick. You can also buy it from the market in whatever quantity you need. It’s actually cheaper than processed mustard because of its lack of processing and added ingredients.
If you have the luxury of time, try pounding some mustard seeds using a mortar and pestle. Pound in little batches so it won’t overflow, and to avoid wastage. You can also use a food processor if you have one, which really saves you a lot of time. Once it’s in its powdered form, store it in an airtight jar or spice container, and enjoy!
For the substitution, just stick to what the recipe calls for. This is pretty much the mustard powder or dry mustard from scratch.
Surprisingly, arugula can be used as a substitute for mustard powder. This might be too odd for some of you but yes, using arugula can work in some dishes. Arugula is one of the most loved salad and sandwich ingredient for a healthier diet. The taste of this leafy vegetable is quite spicy, making it an effective alternative for mustard powder.
All you need to do is to finely chop arugula until it’s almost like a paste. You can use the arugula paste to mix in salad dressings or dips. I don’t recommend using it for soups, glazes, or meat marinades because the leaf can get too soggy or burn easily. You may say that its use as a substitute is limited to just a few dishes, but still, it does work well where it’s appropriate.
To substitute, use 1 tablespoon of arugula for every 1 teaspoon of mustard powder. This might not be yellow in color (in fact it will be rather green!) but there’s nothing to worry about because it won’t affect the color of the food that much. So if you have some spare arugula in your fridge, try out this substitute to make healthier dips and salad dressings at home.
My Personal Choice
I am a fan of anything mustard so I always recommend to home cooks that everyone should have spare mustard seed. Making your own mustard powder is quite rewarding, particularly as you know that you made it from scratch. So the next time you run out of mustard powder, you can always have a backup to make another batch, whether it’s prepared mustard or mustard powder.
The next best option is turmeric powder. Turmeric powder is considered the safest and most appropriate option if you don’t feel like risking other alternatives. Plus turmeric powder is common in most kitchens these days, making it way easier to find and store. This is by far my most preferred substitute out of all the options.
But still, all 6 substitutes mentioned above work pretty well in most, if not all dishes.
Taking advantage of these substitutes will definitely help you when no mustard is available – instead of making a trip to the store when you don’t really have time, explore substitutes and consider this as an experimental time in the kitchen.