Dijon Mustard Sauce


I loathe most Chinese mustard sauces, with their raw, strong bite. The culprit is dry mustard, which is almost always harsh and bitter. Here instead is a smooth and tingly East-meets-West mustard sauce, flavored by sesame oil and Dijon mustard. It is a superb garnish for an endless variety of foods, from hot Chinese meatballs to Jewish corned-beef-on-rye.

  • I use Maille brand unflavored Dijon mustard, which has a full rich taste that is neither spicy nor vinegary. You may need to go to a specialty store to find it, but the taste is well worth the trip. Do not use the more widely available Grey Poupon, or any of the extra-strong imported blends. They will not work well in this recipe.


  • ½ cup mild, unflavored Dijon mustard—Maille, Dessaux, and Amora brands recommended, in that order
  • ½ cup Chinese or Japanese sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned Chinese or Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or quality, dry sherry fine sea salt, to taste


Blend the ingredients until thoroughly emulsified, in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel knife, in a blender, or by hand. Taste and adjust with salt. Let mellow several hours at room temperature or refrigerate overnight in a clean, airtight jar. Use at room temperature for best taste and bouquet.

Store airtight in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep indefinitely. For best consistency, whisk or return briefly to the processor or blender before each use.