Where does that delicious, sinus-burning hot mustard that you get at Chinese restaurants come from? MsMaryMc has tried most of the brands available in grocery stores and Asian markets, but can’t find anything that measures up.

jacquelyncoffey makes her own using equal parts Colman’s dry mustard powder and water, and then leaving it for an hour. “A very comprehensive Chinese cookbook that I have says to use a good quality English mustard,” she explains.

FoodFuser recommends activating the powdered mustard with a minimum of water, just enough to make a thick paste the consistency of wasabi. Mix it in a cup, and then turn the cup onto a saucer so that no fumes escape. “Give it an hour to activate. Then turn it over and breathe the fumes to calibrate the nose hit that you shall surely receive,” says FoodFuser. The mustard can then be diluted as desired.

One more tip: Never use any kind of acid to activate the mustard, says Will Owen. The “heating element” of mustard is alkaline, and any acid ingredients such as vinegar, wine, or lemon juice will calm it down. “And who the heck wants calm mustard?” he asks.

Board Link: Chinese hot mustard—where to find the real deal?

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