Best Horseradish Substitutes – 5 Spicy Ingredients

Getting a horseradish substitute is much easier than you imagine.

People look for alternatives because they can’t find horseradish or are allergic to it. We have dug into several food blogs and found five horseradish substitutes for you. They all have a good amount of the spicy “kick” you get from horseradish.

Horseradish: An Overview

As you already know, horseradish is a root vegetable. It belongs to the same family as broccoli, wasabi, cabbage, radish, and mustard.

This spicy root is native to West Asia and Southeast Europe. It’s so popular that now you’ll find it cultivated and used worldwide as a spice and condiment. The root of the horseradish plant is used in cooking.

The white root of horseradish is used in cooking in various ways, such as grated, powdered, dried, or creamed.

Foodies who cherish hot, spicy foods love them like anything. This versatile root is either enjoyable alone or converted into sauces or stews.

Some prefer to use it as a spicy ingredient in other dishes. In British food culture, horseradish goes hand-in-glove with roast beef.

Studies suggest that glucosinolates and isothiocyanates in this root vegetable may protect against cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Another study points out the sinigrin compound present in horseradish as a beneficial antioxidant for our body.

Many traditional medicines use horseradish to address various health concerns, including infections and inflammation.

Prepared horseradish is a grated horseradish root, vinegar, and salt mixture. Although it’s an ingredient in horseradish sauce, prepared horseradish is different. Horseradish sauce combines prepared horseradish with either cream, sour cream, or mayonnaise to create a milder and creamier flavor.

5 Best Substitutes for Horseradish

I have heard people say, ‘I like horseradish, but horseradish is not available at my local market. Please suggest an alternative.’

They all want to achieve the same pungent ‘kick’ that horseradish typically brings. They are simply fond of its flavor, which is almost immaterial.

Here are some of the best spice alternatives that can produce a similar ‘kick’ as horseradish.

1. Mustard seeds

Mustard belongs to the same family as horseradish and shares a similar flavor.

Allyl isothiocyanate and 4-hydroxy benzyl isothiocyanate are responsible for the sharp, hot, spicy sensation in mustards, horseradish, and wasabi.

The spicy brown mustard seeds have the strongest flavor compared to the other varieties of white, black, or golden mustard. Therefore, go for brown mustard as a replacement for horseradish.

2. Wasabi root 

Wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, is a plant from Brassicaceae plants, similar to horseradish and mustard.

Usually, fresh wasabi root is easily available in most grocery stores. It’s a paste made from its ground rhizomes with green coloring. Also, you can use its stem without grounding. A pungent condiment ingredient used in sushi and other foods.

Interestingly, when people don’t have wasabi, they replace it with horseradish. So it makes sense; swapping wasabi for horseradish is just a natural choice.

Wasabi has a milder heat level than horseradish. You’ll need to use it in a little more quantity than horseradish while substituting.

Wasabi paste is a good alternative to prepared horseradish in some recipes.

3. Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical flowering plant whose rhizome, or fresh ginger root, is popularly used as a spice and folk medicine.

The pungency of the ginger root is slightly lower than that of the horseradish. It is almost like wasabi and mustard in flavor.

It is a useful alternative to horseradish when you cannot find another better option.

Fortunately, ginger is a common spice that might already be in your kitchen cabinet. It is a highly versatile spice that suits most spicy dishes you prepare.

If you use ginger instead of horseradish, then use it in a little more quantity than the predecessor.

4. Black radish

Black radishes are quite different from traditional spring radishes, which are purple or pink. They have black, thick skin with a larger diameter than the traditional ones.

Their flavor is more intense, and they have a tougher texture.

Its spice and flavor are quite akin to horseradish. Undoubtedly, this is a good alternative to wasabi and horseradish.

You can use black radish just like you prepare the recipes with horseradish.

A point to be noted is that you shouldn’t peel off its skin too much. The skin is the most intense portion of this radish.

As a substitute, use it in the same quantity as the horseradish that your recipe demands.

5. Horseradish sauce

When all other substitutes for horseradish are unavailable, the last option is horseradish sauce.

This sauce is available in most grocery stores to make things easy for you. It’s a satisfying substitute, as it contains processed horseradish itself.

Unfortunately, it may not work well in dishes requiring fresh horseradish roots. Besides this, its flavor is slightly different from that of fresh radish.

You’ll probably need to use this sauce 1.5 times the fresh quantity of radish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use hot mustard to replace horseradish? 

Hot mustard can be used to replace fresh horseradish in some recipes. They both have a similar flavor profile, pungent and spicy. However, spicy hot mustard has a different taste profile than horseradish so the final dish may have a slightly different flavor. The texture of Chinese hot mustard may be different than grated horseradish, which could affect the overall consistency of the dish.

Can I use mustard powder to replace grated horseradish? 

Mustard powder can be used as a substitute for freshly grated horseradish in some recipes. However, the two ingredients are not identical in taste or texture, so the substitution may not match perfectly. Mustard powder is much more concentrated than fresh horseradish. Use less of it to achieve a similar level of pungency.

Can I use wasabi paste to replace horseradish sauce? 

In most recipes, Wasabi paste can be used as a substitute for horseradish sauce. Wasabi paste has a different flavor profile and can be much hotter. Start by using a smaller amount than the recipe calls for horseradish sauce. Dilute the wasabi paste with a small amount of water or vinegar to achieve a milder flavor and consistency similar to horseradish sauce.

Which is the best substitute for horseradish in cocktail sauce?

You can use cocktail sauces like Russian dressing, tomato-based Spanish salsa, French dressing, or remoulade instead of horseradish sauce.

What is a good horseradish substitute for Passover? 

Fresh romaine lettuce or endives are the best horseradish substitutes for Passover. Also, you can substitute horseradish with a mixture of grated fresh ginger and Dijon mustard. Another option is to use grated fresh wasabi mixed with water to create a paste.

What is a good horseradish substitute for prime rib?

You can swap out horseradish with a creamy sauce made from mayonnaise, sour cream, and Dijon mustard for prime rib. Add some lemon juice and finely grated garlic to the mixture, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Another option is to use wasabi paste mixed with mayonnaise to create a spicy condiment. But it will have a different taste profile than traditional horseradish sauce.

What is a good horseradish replacement in Bloody Mary?

Horseradish is a key ingredient in a classic Bloody Mary, adding a spicy kick and tangy flavor. Use wasabi paste or grated fresh ginger if you need a horseradish alternative. You can also experiment with other spicy condiments, such as Sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes, to achieve the desired level of heat and flavor.

Can I use radish instead of horseradish?

According to your taste preferences, red radish or daikon radish can be an alternative to horseradish. 

Final Thought 

It is not difficult to find a horseradish alternative.

Ultimately, we would recommend wasabi or brown mustard as the first and best substitute ingredients for horseradish.

All the substitutes we have listed share the same flavor profile as horseradish. But you can choose the replacement option according to the specific needs of your dishes.

Recommended reading list: