6 Best Horseradish Substitutes

Needing a horseradish substitute? Allergic to horseradish? I have the six best horseradish substitutes that help you in any pinch.

Fresh horseradish on a cutting board.

What Is Horseradish Made Of?

Horseradish is a root vegetable native to Hungary and Russia and grown in numerous parts of the world. Offering fresh, spicy, tangy, and rich flavors, horseradish is all you need to enhance the flavors of a dish. However, not everyone enjoys its unique flavor. If you love it, you think nothing can substitute horseradish. To achieve a similar flavor, you can try a variety of ingredients. 

So, what exactly is horseradish?

Horseradish is a root vegetable famous for its strong smell. The scent of fresh horseradish will linger on for some time after it has been cut. This root has a complex flavor, which makes it a great table relish. In addition, this root brings spiciness and heat to any meal, so much so that the small amount will bring tears to your eyes. 

It is related to wasabi, mustard, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Bringing quite the kick, horseradish is typically consumed as a culinary spice or condiment. You can use horseradish in various forms, including cream, powdered, grated, dried, or ground horseradish. 

Horseradish roots next to a bowl of horseradish sauce.

Common Horseradish Uses

Generally, horseradish root is mixed with spices and vinegar to give it a unique heat. You will find prepared horseradish paste in the market, which marks its most common use. Let’s check out other usages of this root and horseradish substitute:

  • Bloody Marys: It is a staple to a bloody Mary.  It is known for giving the drink a spicy kick, which adds to the interesting tomato-based flavor of the cocktail. 
  • Condiment: Fresh or creamy horseradish sauce is mostly served with prime rib, roast beef, or steak. Some people also love this spicy sauce with their fish, shrimp, or in chrain, which is a mix of beets and horseradish.
  • Mayobased salads and dishes: If you want to add a nice zing to your potato or egg salads, then dilute the mayo with some horseradish. This type of sauce is also perfect to have with deviled eggs.  

Best Horseradish Substitutes

You might discover that you are allergic to horseradish or may not be available in the market. Therefore, you must pick a horseradish replacement that will offer a similar spicy kick to your drink or dish. Check out these horseradish substitutes to determine which is the best substitute for your recipe:

1. Mustard 

A bowl and spoon filled with stone ground mustard.

Spicy brown mustard is the closest alternative to freshly grated horseradish because it offers a similar tang. Another reason that mustard is a good horseradish substitute is because of the same peppery taste, pungent flavor, and heat.

Mustard comes in several varieties and forms. The many types of mustard include spicy mustard, spicy hot mustard, stone ground mustard, dijon mustard, spicy mustard seeds, mustard powder, and even mustard oil.

I recommend using your best judgment to choose the right type of mustard according to the recipe. I recommend using creamy mustard when looking for a substitute for horseradish sauce. For instance, a great alternative is Dijon mustard if the recipe states horseradish sauce. Use in equal amounts (1:1 ratio). But mustard oil is much stronger; mix it with sour cream and add only a few drops of oil.

Another option is to create homemade horseradish mustard. I have done this when I did not have enough horseradish, but I had some. I add a dijon or spicy mustard to help make up the difference.

2. Wasabi Or Wasabi Paste

A bowl filled with wasabi paste.

Wasabi is a plant native to Japan and a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Japanese wasabi root is another go-to option for people who love horseradish. It has one of the closest flavors but can be difficult to find.

While having a similar flavor profile, wasabi is intense and spicy. I recommend using wasabi paste. It is easily found at most grocery stores and will last longer than fresh wasabi. It is important to note that most wasabi paste has green food coloring.

Also, wasabi paste can have a stronger flavor than horseradish sauce. Because of this, I recommend adding small amounts until you achieve the desired flavor.

3. Ginger

Ginger knobs next to a bowl of ground ginger.

Commonly available at home, ground ginger is the perfect horseradish substitute for people who love convenience. You can easily use this ingredient if wasabi and mustard aren’t accessible. Ginger does not offer the same heat as horseradish and could negatively change the flavor outcome of your dish. Culinary specialists suggest ginger should only be used in small quantities to replace horseradish. 

4. Daikon

Seven freshly pulled daikon plants.

Although Daikon and horseradish belong to a similar plant family, there are numerous differences in texture, flavor, and usability. Typically sweeter than horseradish, Daikon works as a good substitute for horseradish. It is generally swapped out in salad dressings. Moreover, its mild flavor makes it excellent for pickling and adding to raw salads. 

5. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut on a plate and fork.

Making deviled eggs? Want to get the bang for your buck? Use sauerkraut as a horseradish replacement. Unlike horseradish, sauerkraut has an immediate heat and offers a complex taste. Moreover, this acidic alternative is ideal for savory dishes such as stock, broth, cured meats, and sausage. This ingredient will add more depth to your dish. 

6. Black Radish

Freshly pulled black rasdishes.

Sharing looks with beetroot, black radishes have a white center. Even though it is a great substitute, getting the right spice level is tricky, given that the heat is packed in black radish’s skin. Grating black radish will offer the closest heat level but will be darker than you might expect. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What else tastes like horseradish?

You will be surprised at how many horseradish substitutes are accessible in the supermarket. Fresh ginger, wasabi, brown mustard, and black radish are common alternatives that can be found easily. 

Is Dijon mustard a good substitute for horseradish?

Horseradish gives off a spicy flavor, producing a similarly warm and tangy Dijon mustard taste. However, the texture is very different. Horseradish has a thick and creamy texture. If the recipe calls for horseradish sauce, use creamy mustard, like Dijon mustard.

What is the best way to preserve horseradish?

Horseradish can be preserved in a refrigerator for three months at 32 to 40°F. Remember to place the horseradish in a dark, perforated plastic bag. 

Why is it called horseradish?

The German name for horseradish was “meerrettich” which meant sea radish. However, the English were said to mispronounce the word “meer” and started calling it “mareradish”. This variation was eventually called Horseradish. Another theory suggests that horseradish gets its name because it is coarse, strong, and large, like a horse. 

Does horseradish expire?

Fresh horseradish can go bad, usually between 1 and 2 weeks. Using horseradish when it is as fresh as possible is also recommended. Over time, it will lose its intensity.

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