With its pungent flavor and spicy kick, horseradish is a versatile root vegetable that adds strong flavor and zest to every recipe it's in. But what if you don't have any? I've got you covered! Here are the top 10 best substitutes for horseradish in any recipe. From spicy options to milder choices with great texture, I'll almost guarantee you have a good horseradish substitute somewhere in your cupboard!
- What Is Horseradish?
- Best 10 Substitutes For Horseradish
- How To Use Fresh Horseradish
- How To Make Easy Horseradish Sauce
- How Long Does Horseradish Last?
- Is Horseradish Healthy
- What Substitute is Most Like Horseradish?
- How To Plant Horseradish In Your Backyard
- Common Questions About Substitutes for Horseradish:
- More Great Substitutions
- Pin This Guide To Horseradish Substitutes
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What Is Horseradish?
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a root vegetable believed to have originated in Eastern Europe. It's grown around the world and is easily found in most large grocery stores.
The best time to harvest horseradish is in late fall or early spring when the plant's energy is concentrated in the root. Fresh horseradish root has a distinctive appearance with a long, knobby shape and a white interior. The root is beige to tan in color and has a rough exterior, very similar looking to a parsnip or white carrot.
Horseradish is crisp and is peeled with a vegetable peeler before using. When grated or ground, it releases a robust, spicy flavor that can clear sinuses. Try it in the sauce for this salmon carpaccio or in place of the hot sauce in cheeseballs.
Best 10 Substitutes For Horseradish
If you're out of horseradish, here are the best horseradish substitutes for every recipe.
- Wasabi Paste - Made from the Japanese horseradish root, wasabi paste shares a similar flavor profile with our western horseradish. It's an excellent substitute due to its hot, peppery taste and greenish hue. Use this in equal amounts to horseradish in your sashimi, sushi, or salad dressings for optimal results.
- Spicy Brown Mustard - The intense flavor and brown color make it a good substitute. Its main ingredient, brown mustard seeds, provides a complex flavor like horseradish. Use it in meat dishes like roast beef or prime rib, cocktail sauce, or savory dishes.
- Dijon Mustard - With its creamy texture and mild heat, Dijon mustard is a milder option but an adequate substitute in recipes with horseradish as a common ingredient.
- Black Radishes - These root vegetables, recognized by their distinctive black skin, impart a spicy flavor almost identical to fresh horseradish root. Just grate some fresh black radishes in place of horseradish.
- Wasabi Powder - Easy to find in grocery stores, this powder mixes up into a green paste and offers a great horseradish substitute with peppery flavor and intense heat. It's excellent in dressings, sauces, or as a horseradish cream sauce ingredient.
- Mustard Powder - Mixed up with water or other wet ingredients, this spicy hot mustard is another good swap you can make. This works well in cooked sauces and salad dressings.
- Red Radishes + Daikon - For those seeking a similar texture to horseradish, but with less heat, red radishes and daikon are great choices. They impart a similar taste and crunchy bite, albeit with a milder spice.
- Chinese hot mustard - Known for its pungent taste and yellow color, it is an excellent horseradish substitute. Chinese hot mustard is a spicier and zestier version of American mustard and imparts an intense heat similar to real horseradish.
- Wasabi Oil - This savory condiment can replicate the heat and tasteful bite of horseradish. A small amount can go a long way in enhancing your dish and can work in salad dressings, sauces, and marinades. This works well when you don't need the texture of the horseradish.
- Fresh Ginger Root - A popular ingredient in recipes that demand a tangy flavor, fresh ginger root adds its own unique flair to dishes. Though not as spicy as horseradish, incorporating ginger could lead to delightful results.
Bonus Substitute: Chili Powder - While this powder isn't the same as horseradish in flavor, it effectively imparts flavorful heat to dishes. You can use it when the spicy kick is what's missing in your recipes. It works well in Southwestern style recipes, especially ones with chicken, corn or collards.
Choosing which horseradish substitute to use depends on your personal taste preferences along with your recipe. These are all tasty variations that work well if you don't have horseradish.
How To Use Fresh Horseradish
After peeling the horseradish, it is usually finely grated for use in recipes or as seasoning. It's a popular condiment with English roast beef, raw oysters, in cocktail sauce (aka seafood sauce) and adds unique flavor to many other dips and other recipes. Another popular way to use horseradish is in the Bloody Mary cocktail or the Canadian Caesar cocktail.
How To Make Easy Horseradish Sauce
To make a simple horseradish sauce like my Great Grandfather made, mix it half and half with sour cream or finely grated beetroot. (You can adjust the ratio to your taste.) The men would eat the extra spicy pure horseradish and he gave the ladies the milder but very flavorful hot sauce. He served up with crackers and kielbasa sausage, a delicious Ukrainian snack or appetizer.
How Long Does Horseradish Last?
Shelf life varies. Fresh horseradish can last a few weeks in the refrigerator while prepared horseradish, typically found in jars, has a longer shelf life of 3-6 months due to added vinegar. Unfortunately, horseradish loses it's spice over time, so a jar that was spicy when opened may be substantially milder when used again weeks later.
Is Horseradish Healthy
Yes, although we rarely eat much at a time. Rich in vitamins C and B6, horseradish boosts the immune system, promoting overall health and resilience against infections.
Horseradish also has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, that helps reduce inflammation. This root vegetable aids digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes, thereby supporting a healthy gut.
Horseradish is low in calories and contains no cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy choice that may help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It's natural diuretic properties assist with fluid balance in the body.
What Substitute is Most Like Horseradish?
Wasabi, especially freshly grated, comes closest in flavor, heat, and texture and is in the same plant family as horseradish (brassicaceae). It is by far, the best and closest substitute to use.
Next best are spicy brown mustard and spicy radish, both of which are also part of the same plant family as horseradish.
How To Plant Horseradish In Your Backyard
Planting your horseradish is simple and rewarding, and once established, it needs very little care.
- Horseradish can be grown from root cuttings or crowns. Choose healthy, disease-free root cuttings or crowns from your local gardening center.
- Prepare the soil by breaking up any clumps and removing weeds. Horseradish needs loose, deep soil to grow it's deep tap root and grows best in well-draining soil neutral soil (a pH of around 6.0-7.0).
- Plant the root cutting at a 45-degree angle with the slanted end facing downward, exposing the “top” portion. Space roots approximately 30 inches apart in rows.
- Water the planted roots, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged.
- Horseradish plants require full sun getting at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
- Harvest the newly-grown horseradish roots by gently digging them up in late fall through to spring after the leaves have died back.
Common Questions About Substitutes for Horseradish:
While wasabi oil can add a hint of heat, it lacks the texture of grated horseradish. Wasabi oil is great for soups or sauces where horseradish is used sparingly and not the main ingredient.
Radish makes a good swap if you're looking for the texture without the spiciness.
Absolutely! Many substitutes work well in salad dressings or as a flavorful addition to coleslaw. Radishes and grated or sliced wasabi root are great for salads and other uncooked recipes.
Whether you can't find horseradish at your local grocery store or you're just looking to try something new, these 10 substitutes offer various options for the spicy and pungent flavor that horseradish provides.
Choose the one that best suits your taste preferences, and enjoy a new twist on your favorite recipes. And if you like the real thing, try planting horseradish in your backyard for a never-ending supply.
More Great Substitutions
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Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina