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Chinese Hot Mustard & Chili Oil

JolokiaJen Aug 12, 2012 01:40 PM

I read people talking about getting chinese hot mustard and hot chili oil with their chinese restaurant meals, but I've never been offered them or even seen them. What do I order to get these? Or is it just in larger cities? Thanks!

  1. njmarshall55 Aug 16, 2012 09:09 AM

    The ones I go to for takeout here in CT usually put in a couple packets of the mustard, but I have to ask for the hot chili oil. Then I get a small plastic container of it. Rooster sauce in the fridge, so I don't ask for it often. During a sit down dinner, they usually bring a small bowl of duck sauce for the noodles and I often have to ask for mustard.

    1. a
      AngelaID Aug 14, 2012 12:14 PM

      I've never been to a Chinese restaurant that didn't serve hot mustard with pork and seeds, egg rolls, fried shrimp. When I bake a ham, I need that hot mustard on the side for dipping the ham in. Man, now you've got me craving baked ham and it's 95 degrees outside!

      1 Reply
      1. re: AngelaID
        1sweetpea Aug 14, 2012 02:56 PM

        Any Chinese restaurant that serves dim sum should have it, but in Toronto, I've always had to ask for it, along with black or red vinegar, if I want them. Some places have chile oil on the table, but it's by no means standard.

      2. j
        JolokiaJen Aug 14, 2012 12:11 PM

        I went today and bought a vegetable egg roll and lo mein. I asked for hot mustard and hot chili oil. They gave me several packets of hot mustard, hot sauce, duck sauce, and a container of hot chili oil!

        14 Replies
        1. re: JolokiaJen
          Perilagu Khan Aug 14, 2012 12:40 PM

          Well, don't keep us in almighty suspense! How was it?

          1. re: JolokiaJen
            Gio Aug 14, 2012 12:42 PM

            Please let us know how you liked the chili oil and hot mustard.

            1. re: Gio
              JolokiaJen Aug 14, 2012 01:08 PM

              It was great! I liked the hot chili oil the best though. And the Vegetable Egg roll was awesome.

              1. re: JolokiaJen
                coll Aug 14, 2012 01:23 PM

                So you didn't get the "special" hot mustard, just packets?

                1. re: coll
                  JolokiaJen Aug 14, 2012 01:30 PM

                  That's all they had were the mustard packets. Why, is the other kind better? The packets did have a sharp note to them. The hot chili oil was fresh though, it came in a little round container, it was awesome and very hot.

                  1. re: JolokiaJen
                    Perilagu Khan Aug 14, 2012 01:58 PM

                    Typically, the stuff in the packets has all the kick of a 40-year-old Army mule. The freshly made stuff...now that's a horse of a different color.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                      JolokiaJen Aug 14, 2012 02:10 PM

                      How exactly do I go about asking for the real stuff? How should I word it? Keep in mind, they don't speak much english here.

                      1. re: JolokiaJen
                        Perilagu Khan Aug 14, 2012 02:29 PM

                        If they're giving you the stuff in the packets, they probably don't have the real McCoy onhand.

                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                          coll Aug 14, 2012 08:10 PM

                          Here they automatically give the packets, but I always ask for "hot mustard" when I pick up the order, then they also give you the fresh made in a little cup.They know what I mean!

                          1. re: coll
                            JolokiaJen Aug 14, 2012 08:19 PM

                            I asked for hot chinese mustard and they gave me the packets. What do I say- Can I have the fresh mustard? What wording should I use? I have 5 chinese restaurants in my town, so maybe I will find it at one of them.

                            1. re: JolokiaJen
                              coll Aug 14, 2012 08:50 PM

                              I just say hot mustard and they know, maybe say "special hot mustard"? Or "not the packets"? They still give me the packets automatically but always have the fresh stuff made up in cups, ready to go. Maybe it's just around here?

                              1. re: coll
                                JolokiaJen Aug 14, 2012 09:00 PM

                                Okay, thanks. I'll try and see if they have it.

                        2. re: JolokiaJen
                          wyogal Aug 14, 2012 02:30 PM

                          If the order is to-go, they may not offer it. But, as others have suggested, it is easily made at home.

                          1. re: JolokiaJen
                            michelley Aug 15, 2012 05:30 PM

                            Where I live they call it "home made" mustard.

              2. n
                Nanzi Aug 14, 2012 10:04 AM

                The hot mustard you can make by adding water to mustard powder. It is really hot!! I have had the chili oil, and it is hot as fire!! Took me half of forever to use up about a 4-6 oz bottle. And for the life of me I forget what I even used it for. Guess I don't need more, huh?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nanzi
                  njmarshall55 Aug 16, 2012 09:09 AM

                  Do you use Coleman's powder or another brand?

                2. mucho gordo Aug 13, 2012 05:39 PM

                  At least the mustard, if not both, should automatically be included with your order just like the soy or sweet/sour sauces, fortune cookies, etc. If not, just ask for it; it's free.

                  1. Caroline1 Aug 13, 2012 02:56 AM

                    Traditional Chinese blow-you-head-off mustard that you can rarely find anymore was simply pure "brown" mustard seeds that were dried and ground into a powder, then reconstituted with water not too long 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. If you have an Asian market near you, ask if they carry pure ground mustard, otherwise Coleman's will be your best bet. And always read labels! Even foods with a label in an Asian language will have a small English language ingredients list on it somewhere to meet U.S.A. import requirements. So if the label on powdered mustard lists anything besides mustard, it ain't pure mustard, no matter what the big label says. Mix the dried mustard with water to the thickness you like, then let it "ripen" for at least 20 minutes before using. It will begin to lose its kick in a day, but storing it in a jar with a good seal in the refrigerator will slow the decline but nothing will totally stop it. If you like it really hot, then the key is only reconstituting small amounts at a time.

                    Wasabi is very different than mustard, but true fresh wasabi will also clear your sinuses with an industrial strength blow torch. However, the "wasabi" you get in nearly all American sushi bars will be the much cheaper simulated wasabi that is a mixture of regular horseradish, a few other ingredients, and green food coloring. My source for true dried wasabi seems to have dried up, if you'll pardon the pun, or I would share the source with you. But whether you are using true wasabi powder or the simulated compound, reconstituting them is much the same as for traditional Chinese mustard: Add water and mix to a paste and allow to "age" for at least 20 minutes to allow the full flavor to develop. Wasabi also looses its potency quickly and should only be reconstituted as needed. Fresh wasabi is VERY difficult to find and very expensive!

                    For hot chili oil, once again an Asian market is the best source. Even a fairly small Asian market will stock mustard powder, simulated wasabi powder (an imported-from-Japan label does NOT guarantee that it is true wasabi powder), and chili oil because these are staples in certain Asian cuisines. The chili oils usually come in fairly small bottles. Mine is from Japan, and the way it dispenses the oil in small spurts is pretty creative. If I could read kanji, I would tell you what brand it is! '-)

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Caroline1
                      zzDan Aug 13, 2012 04:55 AM

                      I have bought mustard powder in natural food stores and it always failed at replicating the classic Chinese restaurant mustard. Then to my surprise I found very good dry mustard at a local Asian store owned by Vietnamese. They make the effort to buy in bulk then package in half pound plastic bag for $2.50. Much cheaper than Coleman's which is a reliable superior mustard powder but expensive

                      So this mustard powder...I just mix with water. When I eat raw tuna I use it instead of wasabi, it is first cousin to horseradish anyways. I never have the pink pickled ginger. I take regular ginger root and cut it into thin slices. Better than the pickled in my book. Kikkoman soy is what I use.

                      As far as hot chili oil, my preference is to spare the grease. At the Chinese restaurant I pour off the oil best I can and eat the pepper flakes as the hot condiment. I *think* the best way to make this at home is to gently roast hot pepper flakes then pour over them a neutral oil (not olive) with sesame probably the best. You have to pre-roast the hot pepper flakes. You could add sea salt. Let this sit for two weeks before using

                      1. re: zzDan
                        happybaker Aug 13, 2012 09:09 AM

                        zzDan -

                        You can get regular chili paste, or chili garlic paste. No added oil, bright, spicy and tasty! I eat it with left over dim sum, the chili garlic I'll throw into soups, eat a dab with scrambled eggs - good stuff!


                        Great to know of the dried mustard choices, I am near a korean market, I will look there. I can ado hit chinatown.

                        But if I find a decent size Colemans, I may just buy it, in honor of my Dad : )

                        1. re: happybaker
                          zzDan Aug 13, 2012 09:00 PM

                          In the past have tried all those made by the rooster Siracha people who must be worth millions by now. Ever try Burman's hot sauce from Aldi's? Pretty darn good. Not to brag but I have a hot pepper plant going outside my house. I have seen them last 4 years in my climate. Turning into a perennial of sorts. When I get a good harvest I can make my own hots

                          1. re: zzDan
                            happybaker Aug 13, 2012 09:22 PM

                            zzDan -

                            Sadly, Aldi's is regional, so while I can hit it when I visit my family in Ohio (and I do!) in LA - no go.

                            That said, I am by two chinatowns (the new and the old) and many good korean and filapino markets - so I don't suffer hugely.

                            Keep the information coming and I'll keep shopping!

                            1. re: happybaker
                              zzDan Aug 13, 2012 09:55 PM

                              It's all a tradeoff. Same German outfit that owns TJs owns Aldi's. We have no Trader Joe's in SE Florida while I know you have them in Los Angeles. But Aldi's is something else. In the last week I saw cremini (baby bella) mushroom 88 cents/8oz package then further knocked down to half that price. Huge seeded watermelons for $4.39. One I bought is at least 20lbs...Aldi's has no scales or I would have weighed it.

                              And these filler-uppers for those with children --- white rice 10lb/$5 and 10lb bag Russet potatoes@ $1.79. With the Middle USA drought maybe this is the calm before the storm

                      2. re: Caroline1
                        huiray Aug 13, 2012 12:37 PM

                        The main constituent responsible for the "burn" in all three (mustard, wasabi and horseradish) is allyl isothiocyanate. The co-constituents (other isothiocyanates and other compounds) will differ between the three, with smaller differences between subtypes/variations within each class, and would contribute to the different taste profiles between each class. The reason for the "ripening" period after reconstitution of the dry material is for the glycoside precursor molecules (glucosinolates) to be hydrolyzed (principally by myrosinase, released from cell tissue) to the isothiocyanates. These isothiocyanates are lost over time due to further chemical reaction or volatile loss.
                        See, e.g.:

                        An old CH thread on wasabi: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/294261

                        1. re: huiray
                          zzDan Aug 13, 2012 03:54 PM

                          Thanks for the scientific explanation to this lovely "burn". Now I feel better about using (at home) my good quality dry mustard instead of wasabi which has a lot of fakery about it (in USA at least)with green artificial coloring and it not being from real horse radish roots

                          1. re: huiray
                            Caroline1 Aug 13, 2012 09:35 PM

                            You've given new meaning to "molecular gastronomy."

                        2. h
                          HandLikeAFist Aug 13, 2012 12:21 AM

                          At dim sum places in SF, I remember that there was a little jar of chili oil on each table, with a nice layer of chilis proper and black beans in the bottom two inches. Nice; I used to pound the stuff. Dunno if they still do that.

                          I went to the Elite in SG valley the other day, and I asked for chili oil. Much incomprehension, then finally a teeny little plate with unasked-for hot mustard and a smear of chili oil. The dim sum was quite good, but not as good as I remember from SF. Except the egg tarts were the best I have had outside of Macau.

                          1. h
                            happybaker Aug 12, 2012 02:34 PM

                            Hot mustard is also killer mixed into the brown gravy you get with egg foo young. Just a little bit (or a dab on your fried patty) wakes you up and is so so good!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: happybaker
                              zzDan Aug 12, 2012 03:20 PM

                              A totally American concoction of course. Shrimp egg fu yung is what I need but where I live now they never put bean sprouts in the fu yung. Really spoils it for me. But better to keep the two separate. Dip a little brown fu gravy then a little mustard sauce. The real kind that is equivalent to Coleman's + water. Sriracha also helps the egg fu patties along

                              1. re: zzDan
                                happybaker Aug 12, 2012 09:16 PM

                                Oh yes, I know the chinese created it for the clueless americans. That said - I love it. It is a unique tasty food, part chinese - part not.

                                But no bean sprouts? Ick! They add so much! You might as well say no water chestnuts too...

                                I 'm in LA (home of siracha) so I always have garlic chili paste (made by the same folks) in the fridge. This thread reminds me - I need to go out and get some coleman's too...

                                1. re: happybaker
                                  zzDan Aug 12, 2012 11:34 PM

                                  An enterprising Chinese-American chef should go to Beijing and open a 100% Chinese-American restaurant. With the classics like sub gum chow mein, egg fu yung, fried chicken, pu-pu platters, etc etc crab Rangoon, duck sauce, won ton soup....The possibilities are limitless

                            2. p
                              Pegmeister Aug 12, 2012 02:07 PM

                              In the Boston area, hot mustard is on every table in a Chinese restaurant. When I order take out there is always as small tub of the mustard included no matter what I order. It's good on chicken wings.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Pegmeister
                                JolokiaJen Aug 12, 2012 02:27 PM

                                I mostly order noodle dishes, but I will try ordering some appetizers and see what happens.

                                1. re: Pegmeister
                                  zzDan Aug 12, 2012 03:21 PM

                                  And people dip those baked/fried noodles in that and the ducks sauce as they wait for the food to arrive

                                  1. re: zzDan
                                    happybaker Aug 12, 2012 09:12 PM

                                    Yes! Good stuff!

                                2. Perilagu Khan Aug 12, 2012 01:59 PM

                                  Things have changed. In the olden days, freshly confected hot mustard capable of melting asbestos would automatically be provided if you ordered egg rolls. Nowadays you're as apt as not to get a dumbed down facsimile that comes in a plastic packet. To my mind, this change signifies the deterioration of Chinese food in the US since the super buffets appeared and drove the mom-n-pops outta business.

                                  20 Replies
                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                    JolokiaJen Aug 12, 2012 02:06 PM

                                    I'd love to try the hot mustard, even if it only comes in a packet.

                                    1. re: JolokiaJen
                                      Perilagu Khan Aug 12, 2012 02:10 PM

                                      It's better than nothing. Barely.

                                      PS--You can make your own by buying wasabi powder and mixing in a bit of warm water. The less you dilute it, the more world-rocking it be.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                        letsindulge Aug 12, 2012 02:35 PM

                                        PK...Japanese wasabi is completely different then Chinese mustard. I've not been able to find a dry powder but Dynasty is a jarred brand found in most markets on the ethnic aisle. Coleman's dry mustard is a fair substitute. In fact it's what I we used growing up in HI.

                                        1. re: letsindulge
                                          happybaker Aug 12, 2012 03:01 PM

                                          Yes, my dad had Coleman's in our hose for that purpose as well.

                                          Bot that stuff wakes you up! Great stuff : )

                                          1. re: letsindulge
                                            Perilagu Khan Aug 12, 2012 06:26 PM

                                            Yeah, it's got a different flavor, but it provides the same kick I love so much.

                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                              letsindulge Aug 12, 2012 06:36 PM

                                              Me too! Definitely clears the sinuses! :)

                                            2. re: letsindulge
                                              JungMann Aug 13, 2012 10:05 AM

                                              Good call on the Coleman's. I keep dry S&B oriental mustard in my cupboard since the flavor of Chinese mustard is so fleeting once it comes in contact with liquid, but prepared Coleman's is close in terms of sheer pungency.

                                              The mustard in the plastic containers is usually worthless. Most of the time it just tastes like yellow water.

                                              1. re: JungMann
                                                letsindulge Aug 13, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                Pray tell where you found the S&B dry powder?

                                                1. re: letsindulge
                                                  JungMann Aug 13, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                  I probably got it at the Chinese supermarket where I buy my Asian groceries, but I am pretty sure I have seen this in the Asian aisle of Whole Foods or some other chain market. It's a fairly well-distributed Japanese brand which also produces the most widely available wasabi I've found in regular supermarkets.

                                              2. re: letsindulge
                                                coll Aug 13, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                Colemans is a good substitute, but I luckily found a 4 oz bag of Roland Chinese hot mustard powder that I hoard like gold, for special occasions. Check out your local "Oriental" market if you have one nearby. Same deal, add water til it's the consistancy you want. And yes, you HAVE to ask for it with your takeout, I know because my husband cannot eat an eggroll without it so I have learned the hard way to always have something on hand.

                                                1. re: coll
                                                  JungMann Aug 13, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                  If you add a tiny bit of rice vinegar, the mustard will remain piquant for longer. Useful trick for cocktail parties when you want to keep your mustard tasting as fresh as your spring rolls.

                                            3. re: JolokiaJen
                                              wyogal Aug 12, 2012 02:58 PM

                                              At home, I just mix dry mustard (the yellow stuff) with water and let it sit for awhile.

                                              1. re: wyogal
                                                mucho gordo Aug 13, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                Have you tried mixing the powder with white wine or sake? Delicious.

                                                1. re: mucho gordo
                                                  coll Aug 13, 2012 05:48 PM

                                                  I've mixed it with soy sauce or similar, makes a very nice dip.

                                                  1. re: coll
                                                    letsindulge Aug 13, 2012 06:12 PM

                                                    Yes on the soy sauce!

                                                    1. re: coll
                                                      njmarshall55 Aug 16, 2012 09:12 AM

                                                      Agreed. I got into that habit in japan. I did it in a Chinese restaurant and the waitress actually said to me, Oh, you been to Japan!?

                                                    2. re: mucho gordo
                                                      wyogal Aug 13, 2012 06:48 PM


                                                  2. re: JolokiaJen
                                                    Gio Aug 13, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                    Penzey's sells "Oriental Canadian Mustard Powder" on-line, or if you're lucky there's a Penzey's store near you.

                                                    Savory Spice House sells what they call, "Mustard Powder, Oriental Hot"...

                                                    I have both and like them equally. They come very close to what I get in Boston Chinese restaurants.

                                                    1. re: Gio
                                                      happybaker Aug 13, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                      Oh! I am near a penzeys!

                                                  3. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                    Tripeler Aug 12, 2012 05:49 PM

                                                    Yeah, PK, in the old days the Chinese mustard would make your eyeballs fall out it was so hot and pungent.

                                                  4. letsindulge Aug 12, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                    I especially like hot mustard mixed in with my pan-fried noodles (chow mein, chow fun etc). A little goes a long way. Also a nice condiment with char sui (BBQ red pork), and deep fried appetizers (shrimp, wonton, egg roll). As for the oil I use it when making a dipping sauce for dim sum dumplings (along with vinegar, and soy & sesame oil), and a drizzle in soups, or congee.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: letsindulge
                                                      JolokiaJen Aug 12, 2012 02:05 PM

                                                      The chili oil isn't sweet is it? Do they automatically give it to you if you order appetizers? Thanks.

                                                      1. re: JolokiaJen
                                                        Gio Aug 13, 2012 10:29 AM

                                                        This is but one recipe for home made hot chili oil... very easy to make.

                                                        1. re: JolokiaJen
                                                          huiray Aug 13, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                          Why not just get some the next time you get Chinese takeout and simply try it? It would either be free or be for a very nominal sum - and just.throw.it.out if you don't like it.

                                                          1. re: JolokiaJen
                                                            fourunder Aug 14, 2012 06:14 PM

                                                            Whether I dine in or take out.....I always ask for fresh mustard, Duck Sauce or Chili OIL, not SAUCE or PASTE. It is always provided regardless of what has been, or will be ordered.

                                                            S & B Selected Spice Mustard Powder

                                                            manufactured by S & B Foods, Inc Japan


                                                            This is the brand i keep in my home and it is available in most Asian markets......and Coleman's is nothing like it, it my opinion.

                                                        2. w
                                                          wyogal Aug 12, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                          The hot mustard usually would come with an eggroll, in my experience. I go to an Asian buffet, and it's next to the soups, along with the chili oil, sweet and sour sauce, green onions/chives, and some crispy fried julienne of wonton wrapper.
                                                          Ask for them if you'd like.
                                                          Nope, don't live in a big city, out here in the wilds of Wyoming.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: wyogal
                                                            JolokiaJen Aug 12, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                            Thanks. I don't usually order egg rolls, so that could be why I've never seen it. Maybe I'll order some appetizers next time, what else is good?

                                                            1. re: wyogal
                                                              mrbigshotno.1 Aug 12, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                              Same here up in Montucky, we've come a very long way from the slop-suey joints from when I moved here 25 years ago ( there are still a few left), there is a great small very well prepared buffet near my place just as you describe, they will even bring out sriracha or hoisin sauce etc., you just have to ask.

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