The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

January 27, 2009

Homemade Spicy German Mustard

As promised in the Egg Salad Post, I mixed up some spicy German mustard this weekend, using bulk mustard powder, bulk mustard seeds, and bulk brown sugar from Whole Foods. (Plus the last little bit of mustard powder in a plastic container, which will be included in this week’s tally.) Eventually, I’ll purchase all my spices in bulk once the pre-packaged herbs and spices are used up.

[01/28/2009: It’s come to my attention that there are different interpretations of the term “buying in bulk.” It could mean buying huge containers (plastic or otherwise) of a product. Think Costco. This is not what I mean. It also means bringing your own container to purchase non-packaged food from bulk bins. This IS what I mean. When you purchase this way, you not only save packaging waste, you’re also able to buy the exact amount you need.

We like our mustard with some heat, so I followed this recipe for Spicy German Mustard on Food. Whole Foods only had one kind of mustard seed, so I just used equal parts mustard powder and mustard seed.

1/4 cup yellow mustard seed
2 Tbsp. black or brown mustard seed, heaping
1/4 cup dry mustard powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 small onion chopped
2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 garlic gloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
1/8 tsp. turmeric


In a small bowl, combine mustard seed and dry mustard. In a 1- to 2-quart stainless steel or nonreactive saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, on medium heat until reduced by half, 10-15 minutes. Pour the mixture into the mustard mixture. Let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours, adding additional vinegar if necessary in order to maintain enough liquid to cover seeds. Process the seeds and mixture in a blender or food processor until pureed to the texture you like –this can take at least 3 or 4 minutes. Some prefer whole seeds remaining, others a smooth paste. The mixture will continue to thicken. If it gets too thick after a few days, stir in additional vinegar. Scrape mustard into clean, dry jars; cover tightly and age at least 3 days in the refrigerator before using.
Makes about 1 1/2 -2 cups.

This mustard is super hot. I took a tiny taste of it this morning and could barely breath for a few minutes. I think aging it in the refrigerator will help to mellow out the flavors a bit. In fact, I Googled “Does mustard need to age?” and found this Gardenweb discussion answering that exact question. I particulary enjoyed the post by dgkritch who wrote, “And for some of us wimps, it gets better after it sits in the fridge for awhile. When I made mine, it just about singed the nose hairs. Weeks later, I really like it!” I wanted to use that expression myself but plagiarism is just not in me!

I’m enjoying preparing my own condiments! Thanks for all your great suggestions on the Egg Salad post.

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8 years ago

@Jayme they put methyl cellulose in ketchup to give it the smooth creamy like consistency, I looked it up on Wikipedia, some time ago, pretty sure that’s what it is … I make my own ketchup, with seeds and skin included, as that makes it a little thicker, I love it, still experimenting with mustard. The German mustard people let it age for months to mellow it out. good luck

Amr Boghdady
13 years ago

I’ve done some home-made Mustard a few times myself, and have discovered that it always needs to be left in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days before it’s eatable.

That said, I’ll try your German Mustard recipe today, and then post my experience with it here again :)

13 years ago

I tried making catsup a long time ago in my 4-H food preservation days. It was tasty, but not the right consistency. If anyone has a fix for that, I’m game for making it again. Also, anyone have a recipe for a mild mustard? I guess i could eliminate some of the ingredients, and just look at the list that plain yellow mustard contains! Great read Beth!

14 years ago

OK beth I beat you to the punch and made catsup tonight. Fake Plastic Rob is the name and making Catsup is my game!

14 years ago

I found a catsup recipe that seems somewhat easy:
1 Can Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
Mix together, cover and refrigerate. Remember that when you make things from scratch, they don’t have as many preservatives (good and bad). You are going to have to use it up in a month or so.

this is from All Things Frugal I will try and lewt you know the outcome!

14 years ago

I was reading another blog that provided some links to great catsup and condiment recipes here:

Beth Terry
14 years ago

Hi Waikirjt. I just updated my post to clarify what I mean by "bulk." As I use the term, it means bringing my own container and filling it from bulk bins. I can buy a lot or a little. It doesn't mean buying huge containers of anything. Not surprisingly other people have misunderstand my use of this term too.

Rob — Catsup is next! But mine won't be sugar-free. You'll have to modify.

Simplesavvy — I don't think mustard goes bad. It's mainly vinegar and dry mustard, which will kill anything that tries to grow in it. And no, it's not canned.

Chiot's Run — I just opened a jar of Laxmi's Golden Flaxseed Spread w/ Dates & Orange Juice. ( It’s kind of like a chutney… but even more complex… sweet + savory + spicy. I may have to figure out how to make something similar myself.

Chiot's Run
14 years ago

YUM YUM YUM. I love mustards of all kinds, can’t wait to make this.

Instead of catsup I like to use chutneys, there are so many recipes for those out there. They’re much healthier and much tastier as well.

14 years ago

Did I miss it? Did you include how long the mustard will last? And is this one of those things you need to put up in sterilized canning type of jars, or is an old jelly jar okay? I really must look this information up on my own — but I’m glad to see yours came out so well, even if it did clear your sinuses for the next two weeks.

14 years ago

What mustard but no Catsup??? I would really like to find a decent home made ctsup recipe. THen I would eleminate catsup bottles. I really love catsup. ON just about everything. Even prime rib. Not enough to drown the flavors just enough to enhance them, unless it is eggplant. then I drown them!

14 years ago

Bulk is good–if you use them.

Hanging around the house are containers of spices from my mother and my wife’s mother. Judging by the antique-colored labels on some of them, I would swear that some came from my grandmother’s kitchen and she died in 1951!!

Ciao, baby.