Fresh ginger root and ground ginger are commonly used in Asian cuisine. The pungent taste and delicious aroma of the fresh root of ginger pairs well with seafood, meats, and even sweet dishes. But what to do if you run out of fresh ginger root or ground ginger? Try using a fresh ginger substitute!
There are many reasons why ginger roots are irreplaceable in both sweet and savory dishes. Ginger has an earthy and warm sweetness with a touch of spiciness that shines through any recipe.
If your recipe calls for fresh ginger, but you run out of it? You can use ground ginger root. But if you still have none, you can use these 12 fresh or dried ground spice ginger substitutes!
12 best fresh ginger substitutes
It is important to remember that these ginger root substitutes can be used if ginger is not the signature or key ingredient for the dish. For example, ginger spiced cake, ginger beer, gingerbread, ginger tea, ginger snaps, etc.
If you use a ginger substitute for dishes, you will not get the strong aroma and flavor profile you usually enjoy when you use fresh ginger.
Here are 12 easy ginger substitutes you can use to replace ginger.
1. Ground ginger powder
Ground ginger is less spicy, complex, and pungent than fresh ginger. You must be careful if you use ground ginger as a fresh ginger substitute. Ground ginger has a more concentrated flavor profile.
If the recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh ginger, use about 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.
2. Ginger paste, grated ginger, or minced ginger
Some grocery stores sell ginger paste, minced ginger, finely chopped ginger, and freshly-grated ginger. They are ready to use and convenient.
When you chop or grate fresh ginger, the essential oils will be released. As a result, ginger paste, minced ginger, and grated ginger have the same spicy kick and bold flavors as fresh ginger.
When shopping for ginger paste, minced ginger, and grated ginger, take note of the included ingredients. Some might include salt and sugar, which can affect your dishes.
Use a 1:1 ratio if you use a store-bought ginger paste, minced ginger, and grated ginger.
3. Frozen ginger
Frozen ginger is a convenient ginger substitute. It is basically fresh ginger then frozen. These ginger substitutes are ideal if you buy a lot of fresh ginger and can’t use them in a week. Frozen ginger is easy to grate and peel, perfect for making quick Fall breakfast sweet and savory dishes.
You can use frozen ginger in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Pickled ginger
This ginger substitute is commonly served as a palate cleanser with sushi and sashimi. If you are in a pinch, you can use pickled ginger, but you won’t get the strong and complex taste and aroma of ground ginger or root ginger. However, it is not really very effective as a substitute for ginger.
5. Candied ginger or crystallized ginger root
Candied ginger and crystallized ginger are made by cooking sliced ginger root in sugar syrup. Then, coated with granulated sugar. Candied ginger and crystallized ginger can be enjoyed as is.
But if you are in a pinch, use them in about a 1:3 ratio.
6. Ginger juice
This is the best ginger substitute for fresh ginger or ground ginger if you make marinades, sauces, soups, juices, teas, and baked dishes. Ginger juice is perfect for tenderizing meat and imparting strong fresh, or ground ginger flavor.
Turmeric and ginger are commonly used in Asian cuisine and are included in the ginger family. Both have warm, bitter, and strong flavors. Turmeric is ideal to substitute for ginger if you make savory dishes.
Compared to ginger, turmeric doesn’t contain any sweetness. But turmeric has a milder flavor than ginger. Turmeric leaves a vibrant yellow color which is typically needed in curries.
Use a 1:1 ratio if you use turmeric to replace fresh ginger in your savory recipes.
For quick dishes, tumeric makes an excellent substitute for fresh ginger in stir fry.
Also called Jamaican Pepper, allspice is the best ginger substitute according to most professional chefs and home cooks. Like ginger, allspice has a spicy and sweet flavor with a dry minty aftertaste. This substitute for ginger is ideal for broths, stews, soups, sauces, and savory foods. However, it is not a good substitute for making a sweet treat.
For every one tablespoon of fresh ginger, use 1/2 tablespoon of allspice. Start with 1/2 tablespoon of allspice and gradually add more if you need more kick.
9. Cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon
Cinnamon is an excellent substitute for ginger for making baked goods. It has a warm and sweet flavor just like fresh ginger or ground ginger. Cinnamon can also be used in savory recipes.
For every tablespoon of fresh ginger called for, start with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
10. Ground nutmeg seeds
Nutmeg has a sweet and spicy flavor like ginger. It can be used for both savory and sweet dishes. However, the taste of nutmeg is an acquired taste. If you need a more familiar taste, go for cinnamon.
For every tablespoon of fresh ginger, start with 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.
11. Pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin pie spice can be used to make baked goods like moist pumpkin cupcakes. It is a blend of spices such as ground ginger, ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.
Use a 1:1 ratio if you use pumpkin pie spice to replace ginger in your recipe.
Ground mace is a unique spice with a mellow, warm, and sweet flavor, like ginger. It comes from the nutmeg tree. As a result, both mace and nutmeg have similar flavor profile.
Use a 1:1 ratio if you use mace as a substitute for ginger.
Ginger has unique and strong flavors and aromas. It is hard to replace ginger in both savory and sweet recipes. But if you run out of fresh ginger, these 12 substitutes deliver some or all of its tastes, undertones, and aroma.
Check your pantry or storage and don’t be afraid to try different spices to get the taste and aroma the recipe calls for.