South Carolina Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce

by on August 22, 2006
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When I moved to South Carolina, I was surprised to discover that the barbecue there was yellow instead of red. Tangy and sweet, mustard-based barbecue sauce was very popular, but I never sampled the barbecued pork that the natives raved about because I became vegetarian shortly after moving there. Fortunately, the bottled sauce was available in stores, and once I tried it, I developed an instant love for it.

When we moved to Mississippi six years ago, my husband and I thought far enough ahead to bring several bottles of barbecue sauce with us. After all, we’d been importing Louisiana ingredients into South Carolina for years, and we were now prepared to drag South Carolina staples to Mississippi. Unfortunately, our stockpile of mustard sauce eventually ran out and a decent substitute was not to be found anywhere in Mississippi. What to do? It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out that I should just make my own.

So here’s the recipe for the sauce. Be careful as you cook it not to lean over the pot or else you’ll get a snootful of vinegar fumes!

Tofu and Veggies Barbecued with South Carolina Mustard Sauce

This family favorite meal is certified as kid-friendly: even the spice-intolerant E. loves this one!

Did you know that mustard and turmeric are good for you? Mustard seeds contain phytonutrients that have been studied for their anti-cancer effects, and turmeric contains a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help people with arthritis, protect against breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer, and do a whole lot more.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kyla McAuliffe October 20, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Hi! I can not find rubbed thyme anywhere, nor any information about it on the internet. Can you use a different form in the recipe? Thanks for your help!

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2 SusanV October 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Kyla, rubbed thyme is more powdery than dried whole leaf thyme. If you want to substitute dried, I would just use twice as much.

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3 Kyla McAuliffe October 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for the quick response – I was hungry though and decided to give my dried thyme a try (before I received the info on doubling it). I have to say .. WOW! My husband (meat & potatoes guy) who absolutey refuses to touch tofu, LOVED this meal. I never make anything he likes anymore (since I've become a vegan). Thank you!

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4 Natalie April 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I know this may be a ridiculous question, but what do you suggest serving this with? For me any great sauce always has to be accompanied by some kind of starch like rice or potatoes, but since I didn’t grow up eating barbecue I have no idea what would go best with this!

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5 SusanV April 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Potatoes or rice are both good choices. I think when I served it, I put the barbecued tofu and vegetables on top of the rice, but you could also try it with baked potatoes or mashed potatoes on the side, and a big, green salad is always good.

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6 Gayathri January 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Planning on making this today. Is there anything I can use instead of molasses? I have all other ingredients handy. COuld i use Jaggery (Indian unrefined sugar, aka Gur) Or Maple syrup instead or Brown Sugar?

Also For the mustard, could we use any kind? Will Dijon Mustard work?

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7 SusanV January 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Brown sugar or jaggery would probably both be fine. And Dijon mustard will be great. Hope you enjoy it!

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8 lea February 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

Delicious! I thought that this might be a bit time consuming since you make your own sauce, but everything came together so easily! I even had time to make some vegan cornbread and turnip greens to go with. The bbq sauce is so tasty, I will definitely make this one again!

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9 Elizabeth March 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

This looks amazing; it’s on the menu for tomorrow night. Thanks so much for all the great recipes!

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10 Dmitri March 28, 2011 at 12:46 am

I’m not a big fan of tofu, but I will eat it if it’s covered in a tasty sauce as this seems to be! Could you substitute seitan for the tofu?
Also zucchini makes me gag (I think it’s psychological); what would you suggest for a substitute?

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11 SusanV March 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

You can really use this sauce with anything you like. Seitan would be great, and just choose the vegetables that you like. Carrots, broccoli, and eggplant come to mind.

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12 Laina April 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Dh and I lived in Charleston for a couple of years so I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time. Today was the day! :)

I felt it had the flavor of what I remember, I just thought that was way too much sauce for the veggies. The sauce overpowered the dish.

What I would do differently next time is to roast the vegetables and add some of the sauce at serving the dish.

Thanks, Susan for another great recipe!

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13 Padma July 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Hi Susan,

What does prepared mustard mean?

Thanks,
Padma.

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14 SusanV July 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

It’s the mustard in jars that you find on supermarket shelves, at least in the US. In other words, it’s not mustard powder or seeds, but the wet paste that is used on sandwiches.

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15 KALASUNSHINE October 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm

DEAREST SUSAN I MADE YOUR VEGAN LASAGNA TO TAKE TO SOMEONE’S POTLUCK IT WAS THE FIRST DISH TO GET EMPTIED THANK YOU FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL SITE WITH GORGEOUS PICTURES AND AWESOME RECIPES I AM MOST GRATEFUL I FOUND YOU TO START MAKING THE RIBZ FOR A FAMILY REUNION I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT TURN OUT.
GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL YOUR ENDEAVORS MAKING DELICIOUS FOOD!!!!
YOU ARE INCREDIBLE MUCH LIGHT AND LOVE TO YOU & FAMILY…
I AM SUNSHINE

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16 Alexandra May 10, 2012 at 6:52 am

Made this sauce to flavor tasteless mushy cubes of seitan; the sauce made the seitan taste like hotdogs, and I had 2 helpings.

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17 MaryEllen August 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

I just made this for a “drizzle” for my baked potato and beans for lunch. VERY flavorful and yummy!!

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18 lynne bookstaber August 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

You are so clever! You were able to turn this meat eater on to so many vegan dishes. Thanks,

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19 Linda Markus August 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Do you have a recipe for Eggplant Parasiam (SP)?

Thanksk
Linda

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20 Susan Voisin August 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm
21 MaryA September 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm

This is delicious! I grew up in SC loving mustard based barbecue on pulled pork. I haven’t even thought of it since going vegan. To replicate those bbq sandwiches of my youth, I made seitan, shredded it finely, sauteed it in a little oil, then let it simmer in the sauce. It was absolutely delicious! My NY born boyfriend had never had mustard based bbq and he loved it, as well.

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22 janet @ the taste space September 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Lovely recipe, Susan. I didn’t even know mustard-based BBQ sauces existed but this is the perfect balance of sweet-tart. Thank you for sharing it. :)

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