Spice Up Deviled Eggs With A Simple Mustard Swap

If you've been getting a little bored with the standard deviled eggs recipe — or are keen to find a secret ingredient to better define your own — allow us to recommend this one simple swap: Substitute Chinese hot mustard for Dijon. This modest change will actually yield pretty big results. Your deviled egg mixture will immediately be more spicy and assertive. Best of all, if you're a habitual Chinese takeout customer, you almost certainly have a drawer full of hot mustard packets alongside sweet orange duck sauce. Those will fit the bill quite nicely.

If you haven't had the pleasure, a freshly opened packet of Chinese mustard hits your nose like horseradish. Its bracing, wasabi-like kick livens up egg rolls like nothing else. From a flavor perspective, Chinese mustard is the hot and racy sports car next to Dijon's comparatively elegant sedan. As part of the mayonnaise-y mixture that is a traditional deviled egg filling, it will serve as a welcome point of emphasis. But why? Aren't all mustards more or less the same?

Chinese mustard versus Dijon

Both Chinese and Dijon mustards use brown mustard seeds, which are more flavorful than their white cousins, which are traditionally used to make yellow mustard. Mixing ground brown mustard seeds with water produces a very lively paste, in both pungency and spice. Here's where the two preparations start to diverge. The most basic Chinese mustard recipe only includes one other ingredient — one that is amazing when judiciously used — ground white pepper. The result is that wonderful, sinus-clearing, kicks-like-a-mule condiment we love.

Dijon, on the other hand, takes care to tone the mustard mixture down through the addition of vinegar and white wine along with a little salt and sugar. (Acid puts the brakes on the chemical reaction that gives mustard paste its signature robustness.) Now, this is no diss on Dijon — it's gorgeous — but if you're looking to put a little more devil in your deviled eggs, Chinese mustard will conjure that right up.