Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant with a much-loved root that has been used as a spice for centuries in dishes like thirst-quenching Jamaican beer, gingerbread, and more. In this article, we’re looking at what you can use as a ginger substitute in any situation.
You will find ginger in a surprising number of recipes besides the cliche baking uses that most people have heard of. With a great deal of importance in Asian stir-fries and curries, this ingredient can be of the utmost importance to creating delicious flavorful sauces and marinades.
So when it comes to substitutions for ginger, what should you look out for, and what works best when? Read on to find the right alternative for you.
Best Substitutes For Ginger
Turmeric has a warm and similar taste to Ginger and can substitute for it based on preference alone. Turmeric will give your dish a golden yellow appearance and is one of the main ingredients in curries.
You can use powdered turmeric as a substitute for fresh or powdered Ginger and use equal amounts too.
Allspice (Jamaican Pepper) is spicy and sweet with a unique flavor that compares well to Ginger. This spice works as an excellent replacement for Ginger in casseroles, stews, and soups. Use ½ teaspoon of Allspice per 1 teaspoon of Ginger as the substitution ratio.
3. Ground ginger
If you are only looking for a substitute for fresh Ginger, you would generally grate then look no further. Ground Ginger is an ideal substitute because it offers all of the right tastes and flavors. Of course, nothing beats fresh, but this is a solid substitute for you to use in any recipe.
Nutmeg is another good substitute for Ginger. You can use Nutmeg as a replacement for Ginger in sweet and savory dishes. In addition, Nutmeg can work well when you’re making baked goods and still result in a delicious recipe. Nutmeg can also work well as a unique and different take for Ginger in specific vegetable recipes and stir-fries.
Note: You should avoid nutmeg if you have nut allergies!
Galangal, another root from Asia, is a good option for stir-fries and noodle dishes that call for Ginger. However, it does have a strong flavor reminiscent of aniseed which can be a little overwhelming. So use a ratio of 0.5 to 1, to begin with at the most and adjust accordingly.
Yet another Asian root is Ginseng. Ginseng can sometimes be used as another option for Ginger as they do share a somewhat similar taste. You can use Ginseng in all the usual Asian recipes that would call for Ginger, where Ginger is not the primary or dominant flavor of the dish because it can be a little too bitter to be relied on as the dominant flavor. Still, it works fine as a combination flavor.
Cinnamon, you ask? Yes, it can be an excellent substitute for Ginger in baking. It might surprise you that Ginger is used a lot in baking recipes, and it works well in most of them. The thing is that so does Cinnamon. So don’t expect it to taste identical but know that it will still taste delicious. A small caveat is that if you’re baking ginger cake or gingerbread, you’ll probably not find Cinnamon an excellent substitute unless you run out halfway through, in which case you can combine it with any existing Ginger to finish off a recipe.
There are a number of excellent ginger substitute ideas in this list that can help you out with any recipe or situation. Give one of them a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to replace this much-loved spice when you need to!