Fans of horseradish claim there is no substitute, but enterprising chefs have found ways to incorporate other options into dishes for those who don't like horseradish's distinctive taste or are allergic to the pungent root. Sometimes home cooks find themselves needing to substitute something on hand because they have no horseradish in the refrigerator. Some substitutions can be simple and straightforward. Others require slightly different preparations.
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Select a Substitute
Use wasabi, a Japanese condiment, if you're looking for a slight variation on horseradish. Fresh wasabi, a plant native to Japan with a thick green root, is rarely found in the United States. The green paste sold as wasabi in the U.S. is often an imitation made from strong domestic horseradish root and green food coloring.
Try a spicy hot mustard if you're looking for a different taste but a similar pungency.
Use freshly grated ginger root as a substitute in a less spicy dish.
Use about half the amount of wasabi as horseradish. For example, if you are making cocktail sauce, add one tablespoon of wasabi and taste.
Stir in spicy mustard according to the consistency of the horseradish being replaced. If the recipe calls for horseradish sauce, you can select a creamier mustard. If you are substituting ground horseradish, you'll want to use a stone-ground mustard. If you are using freshly grated horseradish, you may want to use ground spicy brown mustard seeds.
Use similar amounts of ginger oil in place of horseradish oil when the recipe calls for an oil. Use slightly more ground ginger than prepared horseradish.