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Pickling Mustard Seeds

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I really want to do this since I had it at a restaurant a long time ago, but I've never pickled...well...anything before. Anyone have a guess at how its done?

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no idea, but now I'm curious. Seems like it would be a lot like whole grain mustard though. That's really just white wine, vinegar and mustard seeds. Some other aromatics if I remember right.

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Interestingly, I have a jar of bread and butters from Cochon Butcher, and it contains mustard seeds. I was wondering what they used to pickle these specific pickles.

To answer your question though, it appears as if the standard methods would suffice, i.e. heated vinegar, sugar and salt based on preference, then cover the seeds and store.

And... never pickled ANYTHING?!?!? HOW???

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Mustard seeds are almost always used in pickling brines -- I use it routinely for sauerbraten -- and every commercial pickling spice seems to have mustard seed in it. There are also black, brown, and yellow mustard seeds which are from completely different plants. Are you saying that you just want to pickle the seeds, or are you making your own mustard?

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Heat together some water, sugar and vinegar, then pour over the mustard seeds and let them soak it up. They'll swell up and become kind of chewy and sticky.

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You can use my recipe for Bread & Butter Pickles

The pickling spice mix will include some mustard seed however if you want the pickled mustard seed you should still use some pickling spice but also add a cup or so of mustard seed - I think the brown are much better than the white or yellow.

Toast the mustard seeds lightly in a dry cast iron pan until you can smell the aroma they give off when slightly toasted.

Add them to the prepared syrup and simmer over low heat for up to an hour. beginning at about 30 minutes or so, spoon out a few and see how soft they are. They should be easy to crunch with the teeth but not really soft.

Remove from heat when they have reached the correct stage. If they have been stored for a long time, they will take longer to soften.

They keep practically forever and don't really need to be refrigerated, although you can if you wish.

Try adding some capers - it is a nice combination for a condiment.

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Well my question has been answered - I don't have two weeks...I have two days :)

But to answer your questions, I want just the seeds to go on a dish that I'm serving.

And how have I never pickled before...I don't know, but if you want I can go through the list of other things I've never done. It might take a while though.

But, someone gave me a great, fast, but expensive idea...pull them out of my French cornichons, since they have a lot sitting on the bottom. Thanks.

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Pickling the mustard seeds is very rapid.

It is the regular pickles that takes a couple of weeks. Just use the pickling liquid part of the recipe....

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I've been seeing the pickled mustard seeds all over food and restaurant sites so I just had to give it a go today. I had used a number of them in my nasturtium seed pod "mock capers" and liked them. The caper effort is here > recipes I found were cooking them to a pretty soft stage so they were sort of mustard caviar popping in your mouth. I went with that for this attempt. Quarter cup seeds cooked soaked for an hour and then cooked gently for 15 minutes. Soak & cook in same mix of  1/3 cup vinegar, big pinch salt, and 1T Rancho Gordo piloncillo. The online recipes added seasonings and the pile of tangerines on the counter was staring me down so I added 4 good scrapes with the peeler of zest. Sadly all I had was distilled white vinegar, but I think the citrus zest will mellow it out after a week or so. Tasted from the pan they have a nice pop but not a lot of heat.


photo (35).JPG


photo (36).JPG



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Since I posted previously, five years ago, I have done several similar things with mustard seeds.


I have learned that if the seeds are "old" - that is, been stored for awhile, they still have plenty of heat but lose some of the more subtle flavors that come out with pickling.


I've also had very good results with STEAMING the mustard seeds prior to plopping them into the pickling liquid and there are some interesting side notes that can be achieved with adding citrus peel, different types of chiles, herbs and other spices.


One interesting flavoring is star anise, and another is black cardamom - I steam them with the mustard. 


I don't care much for the "normal" pickled caperberries, they are too sour, so I drain them, cook them in the sweeter pickling liquid along with plenty of mustard seeds.  When ready to use, I smash this mixture in a mortar to make a spreadable condiment that is dynamite on ham, roast beef or ??

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