pickled mustard seeds

Pickled Mustard Seeds

This pickled mustard seeds recipe is a great way to add a crunchy, acidic and sweet element to your dish. It works great with pork and even in sandwiches or, like I did, on a classic French entree, œuf mayo! Relatively quick to make, these pickled mustard seeds can be ready in under 20 minutes.

pickled mustard seeds recipe

An Easy Recipe For A Delicious Pickle

Pickled mustard seeds are incredibly easy to make and are a great condiment for so many dishes. Perfect with French eggs mayo, as a side with grilled pork chops or even in a ham sandwich, these pickles are incredible.

Salty, sweet, mildly hot and with a texture like caviar, they’re a fantastic way to add a unique element to your dishes! Unlike regular Dijon mustard, this condiment doesn’t have the strong nasal heat and pungent flavour. They’re light in flavour, bright and have only a small amount of heat. Perfect for cutting through, rich flavours, you can use them in all sorts of dishes to add texture and acidity.

Once you make these you’ll always have a pot of them in your fridge – they’re that good. Oh and once you’ve made them, they’ll keep in the fridge for months, that is of course if you don’t eat them before hand!

Removing the Bitterness

One of the most important steps to take when making pickled mustard seeds is to blanch the seeds. Unlike vegetables, mustard seeds contain a lot of tannins which can leave them very bitter, even when pickled. The key to removed this is to blanch the seeds in boiling water at least 5 times or until the drained water isn’t bitter. By doing this you’ll remove the tannins and be left with delicious mustard seeds!

blanching mustard seeds
Blanching the mustard seeds then draining them helps to remove the bitter tannins.

What You’ll Need

To make pickled mustard seeds, you’ll need:

pickled mustard seeds ingredients

Mustard Seeds: I use yellow mustard seeds (sometimes called white mustard seeds) that I bought in my local supermarket. You can buy larger amounts online (here for example). Brown and black mustard seeds don’t work as well for this recipe as they’re much stronger in flavour.

Vinegar: I use cider vinegar but you can use sherry, champagne or white wine vinegar – use what you have! Avoid using balsamic vinegar.

Salt & Sugar: A mixture of salt and sugar is used to help preserve the pickled seeds and also balance the flavour. You can use whatever sugar you have – I use granulated white sugar.


Makes enough for a small batch.

  • 50g brown mustard seeds
  • 90ml cider vinegar
  • 40ml water
  • 25g sugar
  • 3g salt (or 1/2 tsp)

How to Pickle Mustard Seeds

  1. Firstly, prepare the brine. Mix the the vinegar, water, salt and sugar together and stir until the sugar & salt dissolve.

  2. Place the mustard seeds into a pot of hot water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove the seeds and drain immediately through a fine sieve. Repeat this process at least 4 more times. The seeds should be nicely plump and have a slightly crunchy texture and this point. Check if the drained water is bitter. If bitter, continue the blanching step (max 10 times). If not bitter, let the seeds drain completely.

  3. Once the mustard seeds are at room temperature, place the seeds into the brine in a small container (I use a small mason jar). Reserve in the fridge and let pickle. They’ll be ready in a couple of hours but the flavour is best after a few days.

Why Are My Pickled Mustard Seeds Bitter?

Your pickled mustard seeds may be bitter because they contain too many tannins. It’s important to blanch the mustard seeds in boiling water to remove them. Doing this repeatedly and with fresh water will help remove the bitterness.

How Long Will They Last?

Pickled mustard seeds will last up to 3 months in a sealed container in the fridge. I’d recommend using a mason jar and ensuring that the seeds are sufficiently covered with brine.

What Can You Serve With Them?

You can serve with them with grilled meat (they work really well with pork chops or pork ribeye) and in ham sandwiches. I love serving them with the classic French dish – eggs mayo!

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