What Can I Substitute for Yellow Mustard in Cooking?

Allergic reactions to mustard can range from benign to severe, according to information published on the website of the Food Allergy and Resource Program at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These reactions can range from skin rashes to digestive and respiratory problems. If your health care provider has helped you identify that you have a mustard allergy, you can add substitutes to your food to replicate the condiment's flavor, texture and taste.

Tartness and Heat

Some yellow mustard varieties may contain horseradish, which adds heat to foods such as sandwiches, salads, dips and sauces. You can buy horseradish separately and dab a small amount in your dishes to taste. You can also use wasabi paste, the Japanese condiment commonly served with sushi, to add the heat mustard often brings to cooked dishes. Wasabi, also in the horseradish family and known for its extreme heat, should be used sparingly. To replicate mustard's tartness, add a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of vinegar or a dash of hot sauce to your dishes.

Color Substitutes

Yellow mustard adds color to dishes. A pinch of turmeric, typically sold in supermarket spice aisles and ethnic grocery stores, provides an effective color substitute. Although the spice provides an intense yellow color, on its own, turmeric has a bitter taste and should be used sparingly. Saffron, turmeric's more expensive counterpart, can also be added to cooked dishes for color.

Similar Texture

Sesame paste, also known as tahini, can be used as a yellow mustard substitute in cooking. Tahini is best known as one of the main ingredients in hummus. The paste can be flavored with garlic, lemon juice, turmeric and a pinch of salt and used to thicken sauces and flavor meat, poultry and fish. Because sesame seeds can also cause allergic reactions, consult with your health care provider before using tahini as a yellow mustard substitute.

Foods to Keep Around

To accommodate a mustard allergy, you may wish to keep tasty condiments like relish and fresh salsa on hand to add to dishes. The flavor of Greek yogurt also can be enhanced with fresh or dry herbs and spices, and colored with turmeric, to replicate yellow mustard in a pinch.

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