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Are you about to make a recipe that calls for ginger and you’ve just now realized that you have none on hand? Or maybe your fresh ginger has shriveled and dried up and you need something to replace it? Here are the best ginger substitute options that will work in just about any recipe!
Ginger is a unique type of spice that works well in both savory recipes like pork belly as well as sweet foods. It is most prevalent in Asia and India and is derived from the Zingiber officinale plant.
Fresh ginger root is spicy, pungent, and sweet in flavor.
Ginger is very popular in the kitchen and its sharpness can enhance the taste of literally anything it is added to.
Therefore, if you can, try to run to the store to grab some if a recipe calls for it.
However, if you have no intentions of running to the market, or store for some fresh ginger, here are the best substitutes for ginger that you’re likely to find in your kitchen.
The best substitutes for ginger are:
- Ground ginger
- Crystalized ginger
- Ginger paste
We’ll discuss each in more detail below:
Best Ginger Substitutes
1. Ground ginger
If you cannot get fresh ginger, ground ginger is an acceptable ginger substitute. Indeed, ground ginger is not as hot as fresh ginger, but it comes close to its flavor. Ground ginger is milder, but, it does have that warming gingery bite and a hint of sweetness
Ground ginger is often used in desserts, but, you can also simply substitute ground ginger for fresh ginger in any recipe and it will work.
Because powdered ginger has a higher flavor concentration than fresh ginger, you need to be careful while replacing it. For every tablespoon of fresh ginger in your recipe, use ¾ of a teaspoon of ground ginger to replace it.
Allspice is a popular dry spice with a pleasantly sweet and spicy taste. Allspice makes another good alternative for ginger, especially in sweet dishes.
Allspice, which is made from dried berries, tastes like a cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg mixture. It has the same warmth and depth of flavor as ginger and may be used in the same recipes as ginger. When substituting allspice for fresh ginger, use ¼ teaspoon of allspice for every tablespoon of ginger.
3. Crystalized ginger
Crystallized ginger is made from fresh ginger that has been cooked in a mixture of sugar and water and then rolled in sugar.
It’s best used in sweet foods to replace ground or fresh ginger. Keep the slices a bit bigger for extra texture and a hint of ginger with each taste. Otherwise, cut it very finely for recipes where the texture is not welcome.
Crystalized ginger has a sweeter taste than ginger. That means it will work particularly well in baked goods. For every teaspoon of ginger, use ½ a teaspoon of Crystalized ginger.
4. Ginger paste
Ginger paste is exactly what it sounds like — ginger that has been mashed and mixed with a bit of oil. Refrigerate or freeze it and use it as required. You can add a little quantity of vegetable oil to the ginger paste to keep it fresh for a longer period of time. It is not recommended to add water as it can shorten the lifespan of ginger paste.
You can use the ginger paste as a fresh ginger substitute for recipes like stir fries, some desserts, sauces and even in some cocktails. To substitute the ginger, add one teaspoon ginger paste for every 1-inch ginger slice. However, you may adjust the ratio to your preference.
Turmeric is another ingredient that may be used in place of ginger. Turmeric and ginger are native to Asia and are often used in Asian cuisine. Turmeric imparts a warm, bitter flavor and a pleasant scent to your cooking. Additionally, it will give a golden yellow hue to your food, which looks stunning.
Turmeric has a more earthy and bitter taste than ginger, but if you don’t have ginger on hand, a 1:1 swap will surely give your cuisine the spike of flavor it requires.
Cardamom is a subtle cooking spice with a sweet, lemony taste and an almost menthol-like fragrance. Its unique flavor pairs well with both sweet and savory foods.
Cardamom can be used as a ginger substitute in baked items and meat or other curries. Adapt the recipe to your liking by substituting equal quantities(1:1) or by adjusting the amounts according to your preference
The mace spice has a warm, sweet, and mellow taste, making it an excellent ginger alternative. Mace is often used to flavor baked goods such as cookies, doughnuts, and cakes.
Additionally, it is used in various spice mixes to enhance the taste of meat dishes, curries, stews, and sauces. However, you should know that mace may become bitter if cooked for an extended period. A better option is to include it at the very end as a finishing spice. When substituting in your meal, use a 1:1 ratio.
Nutmeg is another widely used spice with a taste characteristic similar to ginger. It has a somewhat sweet, peppery, and nutty flavor. Ground nutmeg is a spice that is often used to enhance the taste of baked good and confections.
Ground nutmeg is available at most grocery stores. Although, for a more robust flavor, it is preferable to purchase nutmeg seeds and ground them yourself. When substituting, add a 1 teaspoon of nutmeg for every tablespoon of ginger.
Cinnamon is a great substitute for ginger in various dishes due to its sweet taste. It has a strong resemblance to ginger derived from fragrant cinnamon tree bark and provides additional richness and fragrance to your food.
Cinnamon is a widely used spice in various cuisines, like poultry, lamb, stews, Asian foods, and even baked goods such as cakes and pastries. When substituting for ginger in recipes, use 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon or adjust to your preference.
Fingeroot, also called Chinese ginger is another good replacement for ginger. Chinese ginger is used in a lot of Thai recipes and has a flavor that is very similar to ginger, but milder.
Use twice the amount of fingerroot in a recipe to replace ginger.
There you have it. If you are out of ginger and looking for a suitable alternative for ginger, these options might help you make your dish equally amazing as it would be with ginger.