Looking for substitutes for horseradish? Maybe you don’t have any on hand, you’re allergic or just need a quick replacement that has a similar taste or texture! No matter what you are using it for, here you’ll find 10 great replacements for horseradish!
I have the fondest memories of a Christmas church function that was NOTORIOUS for serving the hottest horseradish sauce on the planet! We all sat around the table to see who could endure the biggest bite without falling to the floor doubled over in pain, tears streaming down our face!
Ok, it doesn’t actually SOUND fun, but it was. Trust me.
I feel like horseradish has a cult following of sorts and you either love it or hate it. It’s sinus clearing flavors don’t suit everyone….or maybe it’s just an “acquired taste.”
Around the holidays, it’s much easier to find fresh horseradish root at the grocery store. However, during non-peek times of the year, it can be harder to find. So here I’ve rounded up ten horseradish alternatives.
HOW HORSERADISH IS MOST COMMONLY USED
Here are some of the most popular ways horseradish is used. Most commonly, horseradish root is mixed with vinegar and spices and sold as “prepared horseradish,” which is how it most commonly consumed.
At the end of this post you will find the best substitutes based on what purpose you are using horseradish:
- Condiments: sauce for prime rib or fish, cocktail sauce for shrimp
- Bloody Marys: Many people consider horseradish a staple in Bloody Marys.
- Mayo-based salads and dishes: Horseradish, when “diluted” with mayo, can add a nice zing in dishes like egg salad, potato salad and deviled eggs.
10 SIMPLE SUBSTITUTES FOR HORSERADISH
1. Wasabi Paste
Ok, let me let you in on a little secret….guess what the first ingredient is in most store-bought wasabi pastes??! (Hint: it’s not wasabi!!!) IT’S HORSERADISH!!! Yup, take a look at the label next time. Actual “wasabi” is generally way down the list–horseradish is almost always the first ingredient! So wasabi paste makes a great replacement for horseradish!
Keep in mind that, in addition to horseradish, wasabi paste is typically made up of salt, oil, mustard flour, water and possibly a little wasabi. The flavor and intensity will vary a bit from brand to brand, so start with a little and slowly add to get your desired flavor. Note that wasabi paste is always more concentrated (AKA spicy!) than prepared horseradish so again, use sparingly.
1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1/2 tsp wasabi paste (start with this ratio)
2. Wasabi Root
Wasabi root is hands down the best replacement for fresh horseradish. The two roots come from the same family and have very similar flavor and heat profiles. Both have that “sinus clearing” effect!
Fresh wasabi has a slightly sweeter and more mild taste than horseradish, so you may need to use a bit more to get the spice you’re looking for.
Wasabi root can be difficult to find, but Asian/Japanese stores and some speciality stores like Whole Foods often carry it.
1 tsp fresh grated horseradish = 1 1/2 tsp fresh grated wasabi
3. Wasabi Oil
Wasabi oil in a spicy, flavorful oil (usually vegetable or canola oil) that is infused with….you guessed it! HORSERADISH! Wasabi oil, while not nearly as pungent as prepared horseradish or grated horseradish, still packs a punch and can be great to kick up mayo-based salads/dishes or used as a condiment to drizzle on meats.
If you are looking for the same flavor profile as horseradish, but a milder option, look into wasabi oil.
1 tsp prepared horseradish = 2 tsp wasabi oil (amount depends on what you are using it for and personal taste preference)
4. Wasabi Powder
Wasabi powder is in essence, dehydrated wasabi paste! You can make wasabi paste by mixing 2 parts powder and 1 part water to form wasabi paste.
Most wasabi powders are made from….ONCE AGAIN…horseradish (starting to see a pattern here?)!! It’s typically blended with mustard and possibly some other spices. PURE wasabi powder is expensive and difficult to find. Since most “store bought” wasabi powders are made up of mostly horseradish, it’s a great substitute!
Mix: 2 tsp wasabi powder + 1 tsp water (or follow package instructions to form the paste)
Then use the same ratio you would use wasabi paste:
1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1/2 tsp wasabi paste (start with this ratio)
5. Spicy Hot Mustard (Brown Mustard/Chinese Hot Mustard)
Put away that yellow hot dog mustard. BROWN mustard has a totally different flavor….and SPICE! Like horseradish, brown mustard has the “sinus clearing” sensation. Brown mustard is also commonly known as “Chinese hot mustard.” When sold in stores (or AMAZON), Chinese hot/brown mustard is typically mixed with vinegar and some spices but still packs a nice punch with a very similar flavor profile to horseradish.
1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1 tsp brown mustard (Chinese hot mustard/Spicy brown mustard)
6. Ground (Brown) Mustard Powder
Brown mustard powder is simply ground brown mustard seeds. Sometimes other spices (like turmeric for color) are added. Brown mustard powder can be an excellent substitute for horseradish because of it’s spicy, pungent flavor that is very concentrated in powder form.
Mix: 2 tsp mustard powder + 1 tsp water (or follow package instructions to form a paste)
Then use this ratio, knowing you need to taste and adjust based on your heat preference:
1 tsp prepared horseradish = 1/2 tsp brown mustard paste (start with this ratio)
Ginger can be used in a pinch as a replacement for horseradish. It’s easy to find at most chain grocery stores and inexpensive.
The pungent taste and heat somewhat mimics that of horseradish, although ginger root has more floral and lemon notes and is a lot more mild. You won’t get the same flavor, but ginger can be used in a pinch if you want a more mild spice than horseradish. Don’t overdo it, though. The flavor of fresh ginger can get overwhelming fast!
1 tsp grated horseradish = 1 tsp grated ginger
8. Black Radish
Black radish has a spicy, sharp pungent taste very similar to horseradish, so it’s a good alternative to horseradish. Much of the heat comes from the outside (black part), and it can be grated with the skin on. However, if you want a milder flavor, peel it first.
Black radish can be hard to find, which is it’s main drawback, Asian stores, speciality grocery stores and farmer’s markets are good places to find black radishes.
1 tsp grated horseradish = 1 tsp grated black radish
This one may sound odd, but sauerkaurt is a decent replacement for horseradish in some instances. Although it doesn’t pack the heat, sauerkaurt is super acidic and sour, and can be used as a condiment when the intense spice of horseradish isn’t wanted. Since the flavor is much more mild, more sauerkraut can be used to replace horseradish.
1 tsp prepared horseradish = 3-4 tsp (or more!) sauerkraut
10. Prepared Horseradish
There are times when you want true horseradish ROOT but you can only find the jarred “prepared” horseradish. Sigh–it happens! Prepared horseradish is typically much more mild than freshly grated horseradish because it is mixed with vinegar, salt and sometimes other spices.
If you are looking for a prepared horseradish it match the intensity of the raw stuff, you have to go for Atomic Extra Hot!! Remember the Christmas party I talked about above with the horseradish that made me fall to the ground in (happy) tears??! It was Atomic Hot!!!! You’ll have to play with the ratios based on your heat tolerance–proceed with caution!
Other prepared horseradishes bought at the grocery store typically do not even come close to Atomic Hot or fresh grated horseradish! So again, depending on what brand you use, play around with the amount.
1 tsp grated horseradish = 1-4 tsp (or more or less, depending on brand!!!) prepared horseradish
HOW TO CHOOSE A SUBSTITUTE
Here are the best substitutes for horseradish in:
Here are the best replacements for horseradish when using it as a condiment or to make “horseradish sauce”:
- Wasabi paste, wasabi root, wasabi powder, spicy hot mustard, mustard powder, ginger, black radish, sauerkraut, prepared horseradish sauce
Mayo-Based Salads and Dishes
The best replacements for horseradish in mayo-based salads and dishes. You can stir these right into your dish.
- Wasabi paste, wasabi oil, spicy hot mustard, prepared horseradish
All of three of these replacements can be stirred right into your Bloody Mary for a nice kick!
- Wasabi paste, wasabi oil or prepared horseradish
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The two are often confused. Prepared horseradish is the kind you see in the jar on the store shelves. ((The absolute BEST being Atomic Extra Hot!!)) It’s made from grated horseradish that is mixed with vinegar, salt and other flavorings.
Horseradish sauce is made using prepared horseradish, and is usually what you see along side prime rib or roast beef. Horseradish sauce is typically made by mixing prepared horseradish with sour cream and/or mayo, giving it that creamy consistency.
Everyone makes it a little differently, but horseradish sauce is typically made by mixing prepared horseradish with sour cream, mayo and a little vinegar. I love this one by Alton Brown to serve alongside prime rib!
Since the main ingredient in most “store bought” wasabi paste is horseradish, it’s an ideal substitute for horseradish in cocktail sauce to give it that same zing! Fresh grated wasabi root can also work well, if available. You can buy wasabi paste on Amazon HERE.
Very similar to the substitute for horseradish in cocktail sauce, wasabi paste works well, sparingly. A drizzle of wasabi oil, will work too, however it will be less potent.