Ginger is a glorious cooking ingredient that is known for its powerful peppery flavor and scent. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, such as gingerbread cookies and stir-fries.
Ginger comes in many different forms, including fresh and dried, making it a rather convenient seasoning.
So when you don’t have ginger on hand, things can seem disastrous. You may assume that you will be unable to cook without it.
But the truth is that there are numerous different substitutes that you can use in place of ginger, such as cinnamon and turmeric.
If you’ve run out of ginger, here are the best substitutes:
Like ginger, cinnamon is widely used as a flavoring in baking. Consequently, it works as a substitute better in baking than in cooking.
It has a sweeter taste than doesn’t always work well in savory dishes.
Ginger and cinnamon have a similarly earthy and woody taste. Both are also quite sweet, so they can be used as approximations. They’re regularly used alongside one another.
If you plan on using cinnamon as a replacement for ginger in baking, it is best to pair it with nutmeg (more on that later)!
Allspice is one of the few substitutes that work well both in savory and sweet dishes.
So no matter whether you are cooking or baking, allspice can be used. It’s an incredibly warm and aromatic spice.
The reason why allspice was given this name is that it tastes similar to other spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and (most importantly) ginger.
So if you need to use allspice instead of ginger, simply use the same measurement.
Next, nutmeg has a sweet and nutty taste, resulting in it being a popular seasoning.
Nutmeg tends to have quite a strong taste, so it is a good idea to counteract this with cinnamon, which can provide a more subtle flavor.
When used as ginger substitutes, ginger and cinnamon work most effectively when they’re combined.
Though nutmeg is used in savory cooking, it is better utilized in baking, primarily in cakes.
Interestingly, mace comes from a seed that covers the nutmeg seed, meaning that these two species are intimately linked.
Mace is often considered a less intense form of nutmeg with a flavor that is more related to cinnamon.
Because of this milder taste, it works well in recipes that don’t call for a lot of ginger.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Consequently, it has a similarly peppery taste, though this is a little more muted. Instead, turmeric has more of a bitter and earthy flavor.
This means that it works wonderfully in savory meals, particularly rice dishes.
Renowned for its warmth, cardamom also has a deep flavor and aroma that is equivalent to ginger.
From our experience cardamom’s (see also ‘The Best 6 Substitutes For Cardamom‘) warmth and citrus-like flavor makes it an amazing addition to curries and other spicy foods.
Lastly, galangal is often underutilized in cooking. Despite this, it may be the most comparable to ginger out of all the substitutes on this list. Root galangal looks similar to ginger, so it can be easy to get the two mixed up.
The two roots also have similar flavors, though galangal tends to have more overt citrus notes. Yet, its peppery taste is remarkably akin to ginger.
As a result, you can substitute a measurement of ginger with the same measurement of galangal in cooking and baking.
You can either use fresh galangal or a ground variety depending on what the recipe calls for.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Crystalized Ginger?
This is a preserved form of ginger, whereby it is dried to ensure that it lasts longer.
It works brilliantly in baking, so you can use crystalized ginger to make cookies and other ginger-flavored treats.
How Long Does Fresh Ginger Last?
When correctly stored in the fridge, ginger can remain fresh for up to 1 month. If peeled, it can last in the fridge for roughly 2 weeks.
Though ginger provides a distinctive taste, several sensational substitutes can replicate its unique flavor.
Luckily, there are lots of different forms of ginger that you can use, so fingers crossed you won’t have to use these substitutes!