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Best Horseradish Substitute: Spicy Alternatives

There are plenty of interesting ingredients that can work as a horseradish substitute.

This flavorful condiment is very versatile and adds a unique flavor to many dishes.

If you don’t like its distinct taste or don’t have it on hand for a particular recipe, don’t worry!

I’ll show you some wonderful horseradish substitutes that can work wonders for your food.

Best Horseradish Substitute featured image | Girl Meets Food

What’s horseradish used for?

Horseradish is a strong-flavored root vegetable used as a condiment or seasoning. Its root is often grated or mixed into a paste or sauce for cooking.

When cut or grated, fresh horseradish roots release a bitter, pungent flavor and scent.

This condiment is mostly used with roasted meat, sandwiches and fish. You can also use it to spice up your marinades, sauces, and dips.

Apart from its culinary role, the horseradish plant is valued for its therapeutic properties – improving respiratory health and digestion.

Best horseradish substitutes

A few pieces and slices of horseradish on the wooden surface  | Girl Meets Food

Horseradish is one of my favorite condiments to use for giving food a little extra spice. Its distinctive and robust taste can spice up even the most mundane meal.

So when I don’t have access to horseradish or get tired of horseradish flavor, I turn to these substitutes:

  • Wasabi: root, paste, oil, powder

Wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, is a plant originally cultivated in Japan. Its second name already suggests that it shares some similarities with horseradish.

Sushi, sashimi, and other raw fish dishes are often served with wasabi paste made from the root of this plant.

Wasabi’s antibacterial properties make it a popular choice for use in preservation.

Multiple countries now cultivate it; these include New Zealand and the USA. Its exotic and interesting flavor makes it a staple ingredient in fusion cooking.

Japanese wasabi root has a robust, spicy flavor that’s similar to horseradish but also has floral and slightly sweet overtones.

I tried using Japanese wasabi root to replace grated horseradish in a creamy salad dressing. It tasted a bit sweeter than the original but was nonetheless very delicious.

You can also use wasabi oil, wasabi sauce or wasabi powder as a horseradish replacement but fresh wasabi root itself is my go-to option.

  • Dijon Mustard

This condiment has the same silky texture and acidic, somewhat spicy flavor made from both brown or black mustard seeds.

Thanks to its sour and spicy flavor profile, it’s a good horseradish substitute in dips, sauces and salad dressings.

Dijon mustard can be used as a natural preservative due to its high acidity. So it can be stored for longer periods of time.

  • Mustard powder

Ground black or brown mustard seeds, sometimes known as mustard powder, can stand in for horseradish in many dishes. The flavor is sharp and somewhat sweet, like that of horseradish.

Mustard sauces and pastes can be created with this. It may also be used to spice up dressings.

I tried using mustard powder instead of horseradish to make a vegan cocktail sauce. It tasted much sweeter but definitely delicious!

  • Ginger

Ginger is used in many recipes because of its spicy, pungent flavor and aroma. It’s especially popular in Asian cooking where its unique flavor is much appreciated.

It has excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties so it’s one of my favorite tea ingredients and remedies for cold.

Because of its distinct heat and flavor, ginger can stand in for grated horseradish in sauces and salad dressings. If you don’t have fresh ginger root, you can also use dried or powdered forms.

In addition, pickles and chutneys often benefit from ginger’s natural preservation properties.

Ginger is a common component in many different cuisines around the world due to its adaptability and health advantages. 

  • Black radish

Black radish (Spanish Radish or noir d’hiver) is a root vegetable with a sharp and peppery taste. It can be used as an alternative to horseradish thanks to its similar texture and pungency.

Its black skin is crisp and juicy while its white flesh is moderately peppery. It’s often used in pickles and salads but can also be eaten raw or cooked.

  • Daikon radish

Daikon radish is also known as white radish and Chinese radish. Its sweetness and mild heat make it a suitable substitute for horseradish.

Pasta sauces, soups, stews, and sushi are just some of the recipes where it may stand in for grated horseradish. It’s great for adding texture to salads because of how crunchy it is.

However, daikon has a milder flavor than radish so the taste of your dishes may change.

  • Horseradish Cream Sauce

Creamy horseradish sauce features horseradish combined with sour cream, mayonnaise and a touch of lemon juice or mustard.

When fresh horseradish is unavailable, a milder horseradish sauce can work.

The ideal ways for vegans to enjoy it are as a spread for sandwiches or a salad dressing.

  • Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is often made by combining chili peppers with vinegar, salt, and other components.

Since the heat level of hot sauce may be adjusted to suit different preferences, it has widespread popularity. It goes perfectly with tacos and burritos and is added to sauces and marinades.

Both hot sauce and horseradish have a sharp, pungent taste. I used sriracha instead of grated horseradish to top my horseradish cucumber salad and it turned out really good.

My kitchen would be severely lacking without spicy sauces like tabasco and sriracha. I often add them to my favorite recipes for a spicy kick of flavor (but not too much).

I hope all these substitutes for horseradish will help you in your cooking.

If you find yourself without horseradish, don’t worry – they will do the trick!

Horseradish substitute FAQs

A small transparent bowl of grated horseradish is on the wooden board with a grater | Girl Meets Food
Are there non-spicy substitutes for horseradish?

Dijon mustard is a wonderful alternative to horseradish since it lacks the fiery flavor. Similarly to horseradish, Dijon mustard has a smooth texture and acidic flavor, but without the fiery heat.

Can I replace horseradish with wasabi?

Wasabi root may successfully stand in for horseradish. Similar to horseradish in its powerful and fiery flavor, wasabi also features flowery and somewhat sweet undertones. For a tamer taste, use wasabi powder or wasabi oil.

What to substitute for horseradish in beet horseradish sauce?

An excellent alternative to horseradish in beet horseradish sauce is Dijon mustard. Ground ginger is a great option if you’re looking to give a dish a more earthy flavor.

What does horseradish taste like?

The taste of horseradish is strong and spicy, with a hint of earthiness. Some people may find the powerful scent to be overwhelming.

How should I use a horseradish substitute?

There is no limit to the creative ways you may use a horseradish alternative. For example, you can swap out horseradish in a recipe for another ingredient such as Dijon mustard, ginger, wasabi root, or spicy sauce.

Your own taste in spice will determine how much of these replacements for horseradish you should use.

Are horseradish substitutes vegan?

Yes, most horseradish substitutes are vegan. 

However, if you plan on using a prepared horseradish substitute, keep in mind that it can be made with dairy products like cream and mayonnaise.

What can I use as a substitute for horseradish sauce?

Mustard with lemon juice makes a great replacement for horseradish sauce.

For extra heat, use some sriracha, tabasco, or other hot sauces. Hot mustard (brown mustard) is a great alternative.

Can I freeze horseradish?

Horseradish can be frozen, yes. Simply grate the fresh root and store it in the freezer.

Horseradish may be stored in the freezer for up to four months without losing quality.

BOTTOM LINE: wasabi, Dijon mustard, mustard powder, ginger, black radish, daikon radish, horseradish cream sauce and hot sauce are all good alternatives to horseradish. You can try using them to add a spicy kick and new feel to your dishes.

Which substitute for horseradish root do you like the most? Share your thought in the comments.

If you’re looking for more ways to substitute certain ingredients in cooking, check out these substitutes for green onion substitutes, mint alternatives or best kale substitutes.