Cultured Mustard Basic Recipe

Keep in mind: Making mustard is not an exact science, but an artful endeavor. Therefore, this recipe doesn’t give exact measurements because you’ll be the artist of your homemade mustard by using your taste buds and other senses. Because your mustard is lacto-fermented and contains live cultures, it’ll transform and improve in flavor as time goes by.

Check out our webinar Master the Art of Cultured Mustards from Jan 2021 with Karen Wang Diggs, ChouAmi's Chief Fermentation Officer, for a step-by-step demonstration of this recipe and more!

This recipe is for a 1-quart (32 fl oz) mason jar, or a 1-Liter Le Parfait glass jar.


Phase One – Fermentation


  • 3 cups (720 ml) filtered water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) or 1 oz. (28 g) sea salt
  • 2 cups (480 ml) or about 12 oz. (340 g) yellow mustard seeds*
  • 6–8 cloves raw garlic, peeled
  • 2–3 oz. (56–84 g) onion, sliced (or half of a small onion)
  • 1–2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) fermented pickle or sauerkraut brine, optional

*Yellow mustard seeds are the mildest. You can substitute ¼ cup (60 ml) brown mustard seeds for a spicier mustard.


  1. Make the brine by completely dissolving sea salt in filtered water. (If you don’t have filtered water, you can bring tap water to a boil for at least one minute, dissolve the salt, and allow it to cool to room temperature.)
  1. Place mustard seeds into the jar first, then add in the rest of the ingredients.
  1. Pour in the prepared brine and make sure that there’s at least 2” (5 cm) of brine above the top of the ingredients. Reserve any unused brine. (The mustard seeds will swell and increase in size as they ferment, therefore it’s necessary to have adequate brine covering them. Top it off with the unused brine if needed.)
  1. Place ChouAmi on the Le Parfait jar according to directions.
  1. Allow to ferment at room temperature for at least 10 days, or up to 3 weeks in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed.

Phase Two – Making Mustard

Ingredients you could add:

  • Sweetener: honey, molasses, maple syrup
  • Spices: ground cinnamon, ground turmeric, cocoa powder
  • Dried herbs: oregano, sage, thyme, lavender, dill
  • Spirits: wine, whiskey, cognac
  • Vanilla extract


  1. Strain your fermented mustard seeds and ingredients, reserving the brine.
  1. Place the ingredients in a blender. Add in about ¼ cup (60 ml) of the reserved brine.
  1. Add in about one Tablespoon (15 ml) sweetener of choice, one Tablespoon (15 ml) of spirits, and no more than ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of spices or herbs to start.
  1. Blend until smooth or a texture to your liking. If your blender is having a hard time because the content is too dry, add in more of the reserved brine until ingredients can be easily incorporated.
  1. Taste your mustard-to-be at this point. Add in more flavorings, if desired.
  1. When you have reached a taste profile that you like, stop! Keep in mind that the mustard will mellow out and become less hot over the next few days.
  1. Transfer your mustard to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. Consumed within 6 months.


An inexact recipe by Karen Wang Diggs, Chief Fermentation Officer, ChouAmi


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