Horseradish is a pungent, spicy root vegetable often used in condiments, sauces, and as a flavor enhancer in various dishes. Its unique, fiery taste can be hard to replicate, but sometimes you may find yourself without any on hand or simply looking for a milder or different alternative. Fear not, there are several horseradish substitutes available that can provide a similar zing to your dishes without compromising on flavor.
Before diving into the world of horseradish substitutes, it’s important to understand the various factors that might influence your choice, such as spiciness levels, flavor profiles, and how the substitutes might work in different recipes. By considering these aspects, you can select the best alternative for your specific needs, whether you’re preparing a classic cocktail sauce or a tangy mustard.
Not everyone loves horseradish (or the amazing sauce that’s made from horseradish), but if you love it, you love it. Maybe you’ve had “horsey sauce” when you go to Arby’s and order a roast beef sandwich. Or perhaps you love your cocktail sauce to have some horseradish flavor to it. Very few things are better with fried shrimp.
The last time we looked for horseradish at the grocery store in the condiments section, we had a hard time finding it because we didn’t remember what the bottle looked like. Fortunately, we found it, but if you can’t find yours, having some substitutes will save the day.
However, there is no need to fret because we just so happen to have four wonderful horseradish substitutes for you to use instead.
First on our list is horseradish sauce. I know I know, this seems like a cheat but hear us out. Sometimes, a recipe will call for fresh horseradish.
Now, this is actually pretty difficult to come across. However, horseradish sauce is far easier to get a hold of and can be bought in most stores, or at least you will not have to travel very far, even if it isn’t at your local store. Horseradish powder is also an option.The flavor of horseradish sauce is identical to that of fresh horseradish, but it does have additional extras as you might expect since it is a condiment in its own right.
Typically, these additional ingredients are salt, vinegar, pepper, and often something creamy such as mayonnaise. With this in mind, horseradish sauce may not be an ideal substitute for actual horseradish in all recipes, just because the creamy element may ruin the flavor or texture of your whole dish. You should only use it if you know it will be suitable. In terms of how much you can use, you may find that horseradish cause is not as intense as fresh horseradish, because the creaminess cools it down a little.
As such, it may be worth adding in more horseradish sauce in comparison to the amount of fresh horseradish specified in the recipe. You can add it bit by bit and taste it in between. Of course, you may find that your recipe actually specifies that you use horseradish sauce, rather than fresh. If this is the case, move on down to the next section where I begin to discuss other substitute options that can be sued in place of both fresh horseradish and horseradish sauce.
Another fantastic option that can be used in place of horseradish in your recipes is mustard. Mustard is a particularly good substitute for horseradish sauce, rather than fresh horseradish. The great thing about using mustard as a substitute is the fact that there are many different types of mustard.
For example, there is English mustard, French mustard, Dijon mustard, wholegrain mustard, honey mustard, brown mustard seed, mustard greens, or any spicy mustard and many more. This means that you can pick and choose the mustard that you want to use based on the recipe in which you are replacing the horseradish sauce.
Bear in mind that horseradish sauce has quite a lot of heat to it, but it does also have a pronounced creamy flavor, as well as something a little more acidic thanks to the vinegar that is often added. As such, you will want to replicate this as closely as possible with your chosen mustard substitute.
Choose creamy mustard if that is the element of horseradish sauce that will be the most important, or potent, hot mustard such as English mustard if the element of heat is most important from the horseradish sauce. You may also be able to use mustard seeds or mustard powder to the same effect in your recipes, especially if you are replacing fresh horseradish roots. However, you should bear in mind that the texture will be very different and may not translate as well, except in terms of flavor.
Wasabi root or wasabi paste both make excellent replacements for horseradish in your recipes. Of course, it makes sense that wasabi root should replace horseradish root, and wasabi paste should replace horseradish sauce. However, if you are struggling to find horseradish roots then it is highly likely that you will also struggle to find some wasabi root.
As such, they can all be used interchangeably. The flavors are very alike, and whilst the color is different, with wasabi being bright green compared to the creamy white color of horseradish, the two work well in place of each other in many recipes. Use them like for like, using one teaspoon of wasabi paste for the same amount of horseradish sauce, and equal weights if you choose to use the root.
Last but by no means least we have ginger. Ginger can be used in place of horseradish if you are really in a pinch and have no other substitutes to fall back on. You can use fresh ginger or pure ginger paste in place of both horseradish root (fresh horseradish) or horseradish sauce. Bear in mind that the only similarity is the fresh but intense heat that you get from them both. Ginger does have a slightly sweeter taste, compared to more peppery horseradish.
It makes sense to use fresh ginger in place of fresh horseradish, and the paste in place of horseradish sauce, of course, but the two can also be used interchangeably, spending on what you have available to you. Use the same amount of ginger as you would for horseradish sauce, but bear in mind that it may not give you the same peppery or acidic kick as it will not have vinegar or pepper. You could, however, add these yourself to make it even more authentic.
I have even seen cocktail sauce and spicy brown mustard used as a homemade horseradish sauce replacement. A horseradish substitute is only limited by your taste buds and imagination.
Best Horseradish Substitutes for Cooking
- Horseradish Sauce
- Wasabi & Wasabi Powder
- Try a horseradish substitute tested in our kitchen.
Use in or with your favorite recipe.