What is the Best Substitute for Ginger Paste?

by Charlie
Ginger Paste substitute

If you’ve ever had a chance to make Asian food, you understand the importance of ginger paste. It adds a great deal of flavor to your dish and immediately transforms it.

However, ginger paste isn’t always available for many people, and they might not be able to find it. So, a substitute will work better.

What is the best substitute for ginger paste? Fresh or ground ginger is hands down the best substitute for ginger paste as it offers pretty much the same taste and flavor profile. Their texture and structure might be different, but ginger is pretty much the same thing – especially when grated.

An Overview of Ginger Paste

Regardless of the kitchen you operate, ginger is an essential component. It doesn’t matter what you’re cooking – you must have ginger. However, ginger paste is especially famous in Asian cooking.

Ginger paste is made with a combination of mashed ginger and oil. The paste itself is similar to things like masala or Tikka paste. Sometimes, ginger paste could contain garlic as well.

You can make homemade ginger paste pretty easily. It’s healthy, fresh, and quite easy to work with. Even better, you can adjust the quantity of oil and garlic you use in the recipe. All you have to do is remember that fresh ginger is always better.

It’s almost impossible to overestimate the importance of ginger paste. It eases the task of cooking, especially in Asian dishes. Ginger paste can go into other dishes as well.

Why Replace Ginger Paste?

  • Non-availability: A lot of the time, ginger paste is not available. If you can’t find it anywhere, you’ll need to get something to stand in its place.
  • Taste differences: Ginger paste can have a pretty intense taste. So, a substitute will be much better if you want something new.

Options for Ginger Paste Substitutes

Best Overall Substitute for Ginger Paste: Fresh or Ground Ginger

There is pretty much no doubt about fresh ginger’s ability to serve as a substitute for ginger paste. For one, you get the same flavor and taste profile, and ginger in itself is easy to find around. No stress whatsoever.

For those times when you can’t blend ginger with oil to make your ginger paste, simply using ginger will definitely work. Whether fresh or ground, add it to get the ideal flavor out of your recipe and you’re good to go.

You should note that fresh ginger has an even stronger taste than ginger paste. So, when cooking, you want to be careful about its proportions. On the flip side, ground ginger should be your choice if you’re looking to get more heat.

If you’ve got some time, you could mince the ginger to make it easier to work with. The best type of grater to use is a box grater since it’s strong and capable of handling a hard root like ginger. The grated ginger will let off more juice, which you can easily add to the dish to make it better.

Generally, ginger is a good one-for-one substitute for ginger paste. You can use one teaspoon of ground ginger in place of one tablespoon of ginger paste. For the fresh ginger, you will need to adjust the proportions a bit. 

In general, it mostly depends on what you want. But, one thing is certain – ginger itself is the right substitute for ginger paste.

Best Taste-Based Substitute: Galangal

Unlike ginger, galangal isn’t particularly famous. However, there’s a chance that you’ve seen it before and probably didn’t know what it was. As a substitute for ginger paste, it isn’t bad at all.

Galangal is similar to ginger in many ways. Both are Rhizomes, with galangal being a knobby underground stem that offers a flavorful flesh and an intense taste. Other members of this family are cardamom and turmeric.

Galangal might not be so popular in the West, but it is highly sought after in Asian cooking. Known by many as “Siamese Ginger” or “Thai Ginger,” galangal has a similar taste and structure to ginger. It is most famous in Indonesian cooking, but you can always replace ginger paste with it if you’ve got the time.

Like ginger, galangal can be grated. But, note that you will need to first cut it into sleeves and mix it in a food processor to arrive at that paste-like build.

Mostly, the primary difficulty with galangal is in availability. Finding it isn’t so easy, even if you go to an Asian store near you. But, if you do find it, you’ll see that it works pretty well as a substitute for ginger paste. When buying, it is better to get the frozen galangal as this retains more of its initial characteristics.

Best Mild Substitute: Orange or Lemon Zest

If you’re looking to change the taste entirely, there are options as well. However, the most ideal substitutes are lemon zest and orange. Both are readily available, and they’re much easier to work with than any of the options above. But, given how different they are, it is most likely that these will be a substitute of last resort.

When your recipe calls for something sweet, all you have to do is substitute it with an orange. As we know, the orange doesn’t have an intense taste like ginger. So, it is only appropriate in sweet dishes. For a more savory substitute, lemon zest is the ideal choice for you. Both will do the job when necessary, and you’ll be able to enjoy your meal.

For application, you want to tweak the proportions as your taste buds see fit.

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