What are some good substitutes for horseradish?

I've heard mustard is one, but I still struggle a bit to see how it would do a very good job...

  • Anybody ever try mustard with success?

I've also seen online that some people suggest wasabi, but let's be honest, the "wasabi" that most of us are familiar with is actually horseradish.

(Oh, and please don't suggest horseradish sauce -_- . That one is obvious).


I like horseradish, but horseradish is not available at my local market.

I'm just trying to achieve the same sharp/pungent "kick" that horseradish typically brings. The flavor is almost immaterial; I just want the "kick".

  • As such, I'm not particular to trying it in any specific dish. I'm just curious what other foods can produce a similar feeling/tasting "kick" as horseradish.

Note: Wasabi is also not available at my local market.

  • 2
    For which use case?
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 18:02
  • Just looking for an alternative to achieve that sharp/pungent taste associated with horseradish. For any dish, really. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 18:05
  • 4
    @theforestecologist: unfortunately, it's almost impossible to suggest a substitute unless we know what it's for. Are you trying to substitute because you can't get horseradish, or because you don't like horseradish? If the latter, what is it about horseradish that you don't like? What sort of dish is this for? How big a component of the original dish is the horseradish?
    – Marti
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 19:23
  • Why not just use... horseradish?
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 20:17
  • 1
    You're going to have a tough time substituting horseradish with anything else if you're after the same "nose burn" effect. Horseradish, and Wasabi fumes travel up your nasal passages and result in the "kick" you're talking about... horseradish sauce can indeed be used in most recipes that call for horseradish in my experience. Finding raw horseradish at the store is sort of rare.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 15:19

3 Answers 3


Mustard can be used, but it might have a lot of vinegar in it and can clash with whatever you are doing.

Maybe try doing something with mustard powder instead of prepared mustared.

You could try, if you are luck to get some real fresh Wasabi roots; that would be close to the perfect substitution.

  • I've never noticed that pungent of a flavor from powdered mustard. But perhaps it needs to be fresh to retain any true "kick"? Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 17:00

Horseradish has distinctive tones which you can't replicate from other ingredients, neither is there a single substitution you can make. The closest I think you would get is a mixture of ginger and mustard. I would try blitzing together some fresh ginger root and crushed mustard seed, maybe with a dash of vinegar. A good, strong prepared mustard might work, if you can get something like Colemans (a British brand) you could try it as a substitute on its own or mix it with ginger.


Prepared whole grain or course ground mustards usually have less of a vinegar taste and more spice/kick, similar to what you get with raw horseradish. If you go with mustard, I'd choose one of this variety rather than standard yellow mustard.

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