What is the best substitute for horseradish? That can depend on the dish or purpose it’s being used for. Following are our top 13 recommendations for replacements for horseradish in various dishes.
What is horseradish?
Horseradish is a root vegetable known for its spicy and pungent flavor. It can be used in culinary dishes as well as for various health benefits.
What does horseradish taste like?
Horseradish has an earthy, spicy flavor, along with a subtle sweetness. We like to say that it has somewhat of a zing as far as how it tastes.
Where does horseradish come from?
Historically speaking, horseradish has somewhat of a medicinal as well as a culinary use. There are many health benefits to consuming horseradish.
What is the main ingredient in horseradish?
The main ingredient in horseradish is simply grated horseradish root. Horseradish can also include a bit of salt and vinegar to act as somewhat of a preservative.
How Horseradish is Most Commonly Used
Horseradish is most commonly used in sauces, dips, salads, mayonnaise-based dishes, and items that use it for its tangy and somewhat spicy flavor.
Best Substitutes for Horseradish
Following is our list of top 13 substitutes for horseradish. You’ll want to choose the one that best suits your needs based on flavor, availability, and usage.
1. Horseradish Sauce
The number one substitute for horseradish in most cases is horseradish sauce. Horseradish sauce has a very similar flavor profile to regular horseradish but it’s a little more creamy because of the added mayonnaise or sour cream.
Ratio: 1 horseradish :1 horseradish sauce
2. Wasabi Paste
Wasabi is a green paste that’s typically used on sushi and can make a viable substitute for horseradish, but it can be used as a spicy sauce or condiment on a variety of dishes. It’s made from rhizomes of the Wasabia plant.
Ratio: 1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1/2 tsp wasabi paste (start with this ratio, add more if desired)
3. Wasabi Powder
The Wasabi plant is a native to Japan that’s grown for its flavor. The root of the plant is ground and processed to make a powder. The powder can be mixed with water to create a paste that works well as a replacement for horseradish in some dishes.
Ratio: 2 tsp wasabi powder + 1 tsp water = paste, 1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1/2 tsp wasabi paste
4. Wasabi Root
Wasabi root belongs to the same family as horseradish is. In fact, wasabi is often referred to as Japanese horseradish. If you choose to use wasabi root as a substitute for horseradish, you’ll use slightly more to accomplish a similar flavor.
Ratio: 1 tsp fresh grated horseradish = 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated wasabi
5. Wasabi Oil
Wasabi oil has a somewhat milder flavor to it than horseradish, so it’s recommended that you use about twice as much. However, it’s always better to start out small and add more according to preference.
Wasabi oil is made using an oil such as olive oil and then mixed with wasabi extract for the added flavor.
Ratio: 1 tsp prepared horseradish = 2 tsp wasabi oil
6. Prepared Horseradish
Prepared horseradish is a form of horseradish that’s already been prepared in the way of being grated and has had vinegar added to it. It’s often purchased in a jar and is ready to open and be put to use in various dishes.
Ratio: 1 tsp grated horseradish = 1-4 tsp prepared horseradish
7. Ground (Brown) Mustard Powder
In some recipes you might be able to use ground mustard powder to create a paste that can be used as a substitute for horseradish. It can present the same effect and flavor especially if you’re replacing fresh horseradish roots.
Ratio: Mix: 2 tsp mustard powder + 1 tsp water = paste, 1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1/2 tsp brown mustard paste
8. Spicy Hot Mustard, Chinese hot mustard/spicy brown mustard
It can be seemingly easy to make Chinese hot mustard at home using just dry mustard powder and cold water. After you mix the two together, you can let them sit for a bit for about a half hour before using it in place of your horseradish.
Ratio: 1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1 tsp brown mustard
9. Fresh Ginger
Fresh ginger can work as a substitute for horseradish in some cases because it’s similar in consistency to wasabi root and has some of the same earthy flavor properties as horseradish.
Fresh ginger can be used as a one-to-one substitute for horseradish.
Ratio: 1 tsp grated horseradish = 1 tsp grated ginger
10. Black Radish
When replacing horseradish with black radish, you can use equal amounts as called for in your recipe. Peeling the skin of the black radish will help to decrease its heat if preferred.
Although black radish can taste similar to horseradish, like many of the other substitutes we’ve listed it can alter the color and appearance of the dish.
Ratio: 1 tsp grated horseradish = 1 tsp grated black radish
Sauerkraut has somewhat of the same tangy, flavor that horseradish has, which is partially provided by the vinegar content. When using sauerkraut in place of horseradish, you’ll likely want to use more to accomplish a similar boldness of flavor.
Ratio: 1 tsp prepared horseradish = 3-4 tsp (or more) sauerkraut
Parsnips, another root vegetable can be used as a substitute to provide a subtle flavor for items such as broth and soup stock.
The flavor is not quite as pungent as horseradish, but it can be a good solution depending on your personal preference.
Use a one-to-one ratio when using rutabaga in place of horseradish. Although rutabaga is often overlooked for use in recipes, it has good qualities for a variety of uses.
Ratio: 1 rutabaga : 1 horseradish, or more to taste
How To Choose a Substitute
You might be pondering the question, what can I substitute for horseradish in a recipe. If that’s the case, here are specific substitutes for condiments as well as mayonnaise-based salads and dishes.
Condiments. For condiments, use any or all the above recommended substitutes for horseradish except wasabi oil.
Mayo-Based Salads and Dishes. For mayonnaise-based salads and dishes, our recommended substitutes for horseradish are wasabi oil, spicy hot mustard, prepared horseradish, or wabasi paste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are frequently asked questions for the best substitutes for horseradish. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.
What is the difference between horseradish sauce and “prepared horseradish?”
Horseradish sauce uses prepared horseradish mixed with mayonnaise or sour cream, whereas prepared horseradish is simply grated horseradish root.
How do you make horseradish sauce?
Horseradish sauce can be a delicious dip or side for prime rib and other meats.
To make horseradish sauce, use prepared horseradish and mix with mayonnaise or sour cream and a little vinegar. Serve along with prime rib.
What’s the best substitute for horseradish in cocktail sauce?
Wasabi paste is the recommended best substitute for horseradish in cocktail sauce. However, you should know that wasabi paste is green in color, so that could potentially alter the appearance of the dish.
What’s the best substitute for horseradish in a Bloody Mary?
Use wasabi paste sparingly as a substitute for horseradish in a Bloody Mary.
What is horseradish sauce made of?
Horseradish sauce is typically made of grated horseradish, mayonnaise or sour cream, salt, and vinegar.
Why is horseradish called horseradish?
Horseradish is called horseradish because it comes from the horseradish root.
Are ginger and horseradish related?
No, ginger and horseradish are not related, although they’re both root vegetables.
Can I use radish instead of horseradish?
You can potentially use any radish as a substitute for horseradish. However, we recommend using Daikon radish as it’s a milder variety.
What is a good horseradish substitute for prime rib?
Wasabi is said to be a good horseradish substitute for prime rib. However, wasabi sauce is green, so you’ll want to be okay with green sauce on your meat before moving forward with using wasabi on your prime rib.
What goes well with horseradish sauce?
Here is a link to some of our favorite recipes to serve with horseradish sauce.