Mustard Seed Caviar (Recipe/ Technique)

Mustard seed caviar?  Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like – mustard seeds transformed into the texture and size of caviar:

Mustard Seed Caviar (Recipe/ Technique) November Mustard Seed

The finished product has a fantastic texture – dried mustard seeds have transformed from crunchy pebbles (that I love) into pods of mustard that ‘pop’ when you bite into them.  They are approximately 2.5 times larger than their starting size and are ideal for salads, stirfrys, sandwiches or anywhere that you’d use mustard.  We’re experimenting with salt curing them now and will share they results when that finishes in a week or so.

The process does cause them to lose a bit of their mustard flavor so don’t be shy to use lots!

How do you get mustard to swell up like this?  Cook it under pressure!  I’ll have some more experiments to come but this first batch worked out extremely well so here’s what we did…


  • 85 grams (3 ounces) of mustard seeds (this was one package).
  • 2 liters(quarts) water
  • Pressure cooker (I used a pressure canner)


  1. Pour water into pressure cooker, bring to a boil with the lid loosely affixed (don’t put it on tightly or you won’t be able to remove it once it’s boiling)!
  2. When the water hits a rolling boil, add mustard seeds.
  3. Seal and wait for canner to come to pressure (this took 4 minutes using a 15 pound weight).
  4. Set timer for 15 minutes.  It’s important you start timing after the container has reached its pressure point.
  5. When the timer buzzes, remove pressure cooker from heat and allow to cool naturally until lid is easily removed.
  6. Drain water (you could save this as it’s infused with mustard flavor – it could be a fascinating pickling liquid or the start of a ferment).
  7. Store seeds in the fridge indefinitely.

We’re going to let them cook for 20 minutes next time to see if they will gain even more size.

It’s remarkably simple (if you have a pressure cooker).  We used these as part of a simple salad last night and they were just awesome!

What would you do with mustard seed caviar?


  1. Sounds good…another cooking method? I don’t have a pressure cooker. Thanks, Dawn

  2. I make them without a pressure cooker. I cook them for over an hour in a vinegar sugar brine adding liquid in little amounts almost like making risotto until they are puffed and pickle-y. And they keep a long time in the fridge because of the brine. Cheers!

    • Jill -awesome to hear – thanks for sharing that – really lovely too! I’m going to try to mix up the liquid as well – I think it could be fun to play with brines as well as stocks and other ‘flavored’ liquids. :) Thank you for sharing the tip re: not using a pressure canner, it’s much appreciated! J

  3. What uses have you tried for this? It sounds fascinating… I’m wondering if it will be good on peach slices, or need a third ingredient to tie it all together. I’m also thinking it would be great on a charcuterie platter.

    • Dustin,

      Thanks for the kind words!

      I am salt curing it so it will become fairly different than it is now but think of it as a mild mustard. We had it with a simple arugala salad (with lemon and olive oil dressing) earlier in the week and it was awesome. it would work to top soups, added to stir fry, scattered on chhese or as a texture element in things like hamburgers (and/or veggie burgers). Could also marinate them in olive oil for a few hours (I’d do this in the fridge) and use like that for salad, cheese, etc… I do indeed like your ideas too!

      If you try them, let us know what you think!


  4. I wonder how this would be if you used beer (Guinness?) instead of water, and then used them as a condiment on a charcuterie plate over Thanksgiving.

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