A Spicy Substitute For Horseradish – 5 Good Alternatives

substitute for horseradish

Getting a horseradish substitute is much easier than you imagine.

People look for food alternatives because of unavailability or for allergic reasons. We have dug into several food blogs and found 5 horseradish replacements for you. They all have a good amount of spicy heat ‘kick’ that you get from horseradish.

Horseradish – a popular spice and condiment

As you already know, horseradish is a cruciferous vegetable. It belongs to the same family of 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.

Foodies who cherish hot spicy foods love it 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 in 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 research points out the sinigrin compound present in horseradish as a beneficial antioxidant for our body.

Substitute for Horseradish – 5 Best Options

What are some good substitutes for horseradish?

I have heard people say, ‘I like horseradish, but horseradish is not available at my local market. Please suggest me 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 the 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, pungent sensation in mustards, horseradish, and wasabi.

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

2. Wasabi

Wasabi or Japanese horseradish is a plant from the family of Brassicaceae plants, just like mustard and horseradish.

Usually, wasabi 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.

3. Ginger

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

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

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

Fortunately, ginger is such a common spice that this might already be available in your kitchen cabinet. It is a highly versatile spice that can simply suit most of the spicy dishes you prepare.

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

Also see: What Is A Good Substitute For Ginger?

4. Black Radish

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

Their flavor is more pungent and they have tougher texture.

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

Just like you prepare the recipes with horseradish, you can use the black radish.

A point to be noted, don’t peel off its skin too much. The skin is the most pungent portion of this radish.

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

5. Horseradish Sauce

When all other substitutes for horseradish are not available the last option is horseradish sauce. 

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

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

You’ll probably require using this sauce 1.5 times the fresh quantity of radish.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to issue to find a horseradish substitute.

In the end, we would recommend wasabi or brown mustard as the first and best alternatives to horseradish.

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

Q&A

1. Which is the best substitute for horseradish in the cocktail sauce?

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

2. What is a good horseradish substitute for Passover?

Fresh romaine lettuce or endives is the best horseradish substitute for Passover.

3. What is a good horseradish substitute for prime rib?

Brown mustard or wasabi sauce is good for prime rib.

4. What is a good horseradish substitute in Bloody Mary?

Wasabi can give the same kick of heat provided by horseradish in a Bloody Mary.

5. Can I use radish instead of horseradish?

Red radish, black radish, or daikon radish can be used as an alternative to horseradish according to your taste preferences.

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