fresh horseradish

Substitutes for Horseradish – What Can I Use Instead?

Horseradish has to go down in history as one of the most underappreciated ingredients there ever was. Powerful and mustard-like in flavour, it makes for a great ingredient in sauces, or simply assimilate into some butter to make the best accompaniment to steak.

However, all of this wonderful and useful flavour comes at a price. Anybody who has worked in a professional kitchen for a stint will tell you that prepping the horseradish for use is woefully painfully. Grating it is enough to put the most seasoned of chefs into an uncontrollable deluge of tears.

We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that could be helpful to you.

Is there an easy way to prepare horseradish?

To prepare horseradish by hand, one must first remove the outer layer with a peeler. After this, the horseradish can either be grated by hand or placed in a food processor. However, both methods will unavoidably release a pungent odour which can cause the eyes to water and the nose to stream. An old kitchen trick employed by seasoned veterans is to wear a mask during this process and to have a window open nearby.

What do I use horseradish for?

Horseradish has its uses as a pungent and rather explosive flavouring for sandwiches and meat dishes. The leaves can also be employed in salads.

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Can I be allergic to horseradish?

In rare cases, some people have experienced typical allergic symptoms after consuming horseradish. These symptoms vary from discomfort to a closing of the throat. It is worth noting that anything which contains mustard oil can irritate the stomach lining when consumed in large amounts.

So what are the best substitutes for Horseradish?

It goes without saying then, that the main motive for seeking out a replacement for horseradish is to avoid the discomfort associated with working with it. However, in some countries and at certain times of the year, horseradish can also be quite difficult to obtain.

Seeing as horseradish is a root which is related to mustard, it will probably come as no surprise that each substitute given will be of that variety. However, each will have its own strengths and weaknesses depending on its intended usage. For example, one may work as an addition to a simple meaty sandwich, others may have steam coming from your ears!

With that in mind, here is our rundown of the best substitutes for horseradish that money can buy:


1. Horseradish sauce

horseradish sauce 3

Okay, so this may seem like a bit of a cheat suggestion when it comes to replacing horseradish in its raw form, but it does have a certain set of benefits. For one – if you can’t obtain the ingredient in its raw form, this is a great workaround. Another benefit is that you won’t have to process the ingredient, which for some can prove quite a painful experience.


The chances are that, even if your local grocery store doesn’t stock horseradish, they’ll have some of this in stock. The strengths and consistency vary quite a bit, but all will deliver that same unique flavour to a degree. Weaker sauces are great in a roast beef sandwich. Weaker ones will need to be added to recipes that call for fresh horseradish in larger quantities. Our personal favourite happens to be on the weaker end of the spectrum yet delivers a great all-round flavour.


2. Wasabi

wasabi sauce 1  

Time to up the stakes here for our next suggestion. While the horseradish sauce is milder than the real deal, the wasabi plant generates a much more potent kick. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on the actual wasabi plant as opposed to a jarred product, you’re going to need to drastically reduce the amount you use to fit the recipe.


In the US and some parts of Europe, unrefined wasabi is nearly impossible to come by. However, some of the pastes are pretty close to the real deal and won’t leave you wanting for kick. One such paste, which we’ve listed here, packs a decent punch and feels as close to authentic as you can get. Just be sure to taste your dish as you go along. Make sure it’s not too strong!


3.Spicy mustard

spicy mustard

Akin to wasabi and horseradish, mustard is also part of the same family of plants. It should come as no surprise then to see mustard make an appearance on this list. However, not all mustard products are created equally. Most are created as condiments, with a reduction in heat being the result of that process.

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However, there are also some spicier jarred varieties of mustard out there which serve much better as a substitute for horseradish. It is worth noting that the flavour of the original recipe will likely be affected somewhat. But, if all you’re looking to do is match it for heat, spicy mustard is always a worthy candidate.

4.Wild mustard

wild mustard

For those of you who live in Europe, Asia, or North Africa, there may be a viable substitute for horseradish growing nearby! The wild mustard plant is a small, yellow flowered plant whose leaves have a mustardy flavour when eaten at their juvenile stage. The seeds can also be harvested and used as a spice. They are a truly delicious resource which we would highly recommend looking into, in spite of it not having the strength of flavour to truly compete with horseradish.



horseradish 2

We hope that you found this guide to substituting for horseradish to be a valuable and informative resource when you need an alternative option. As you can see, there are several viable options out there – one of which may well be growing freely in your back garden!


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