“In the olden days, freshly confected hot mustard capable of melting asbestos would automatically be provided if you ordered egg rolls,” Perilagu Khan wrote in a recent Chowhound discussion. Now, it’s rare to be served really hot mustard in restaurants, and mustard in jars and packets is rarely very spicy. How can you get that intense mustard heat at home?

Caroline1 says the sinus-burning condiment once served at Chinese restaurants was just brown mustard seeds ground to a powder and mixed with a little water just before serving. “Some Chinese restaurants of yore added a little sugar and oil to the mix, but that modifies the taste a bit or a lot, depending on how long it’s allowed to sit,” she says. To achieve this at home, buy pure mustard powder at an Asian market (Colman’s will do in a pinch). Mix it with water to the desired thickness, and let it “ripen” for about 20 minutes, until it’s ready to blow your head off. It will begin to lose its kick in as little as a day, so if you like it really hot, the key is to mix only the amount you need right before using, Caroline1 says.

Discuss: Chinese Hot Mustard & Chili Oil

Photo of mustard from Shutterstock

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