Useful guides

Missing an ingredient? Try these substitutes

Even the most adventurous home cooks will admit to finding themselves sometimes short of an ingredient or two. And many of them, like me, probably turn to Google looking for a substitute for that missing ingredient. Recently I found myself seeking a replacement for Worcestershire sauce, and it was then that I decided to write this post. With what follows I’ve done the painful and time-consuming research for you. It was one of those posts I thought would be quick and easy, not requiring too much brain power. But it ended up taking so long – reviewing heaps of information online – that I need a little determination to get to the finish line.

The list of substitutes for common ingredients

Here you’ll find suggested alternative ingredients that shouldn’t radically change the flavour of your end dish. Next time you are missing an ingredient this may help. And I’d love to update this post so if you have any feedback or substitutions I have missed let me know!

A to F: Almond meal, apple cider vinegar, baking powder, buttermilk, brown sugar, cream of tartar, cream, dry sherry, Dijon mustard, demerara sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, fish sauce, fenugreek, fresh herbs

Best substitutes for ingredientsG to M: Golden syrup, garam masala, honey, harissa, icing sugar, Italian seasoning, juniper berries, jalapeño, kaffir lime leaves, kecap manis, kosher salt, lemongrass, lemon juice, mayonnaise, mirin, molasses, maple syrup

Best substitutes for ingredientsN to S: Nutmeg, oyster sauce, olive oil, oregano, palm sugar, peanut oil, plain flour, quinoa, rice wine vinegar, rice malt syrup, red wine, self-rising/self-raising flour, sherry, sherry vinegar

Best substitutes for ingredientsT to Z: Thyme, tomato paste, tarragon, urad dal, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, verjuice, white wine, Worcestershire sauce, white wine vinegar, xylitol, yeast, yoghurt, za’atar, zucchini

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13 thoughts on “Missing an ingredient? Try these substitutes

  1. Great post! However much I research recipes before hitting the supermarket, I always seem to find the odd ingredient missing and have to substitute. There’s a few in there I I use regularly, I’m a big fan of using the homemade buttermilk substitutions (so easy and much cheaper!), but there’s a few in there I didn’t know like the icing sugar. Sounds so logical now you’ve said it! Thanks for putting this together 🙂 xx

  2. Oh this is one awesome idea! Thanks for sharing I’m sure you will save me many hours trying to find subsitutes or worse yet… going back to the shop after I’ve already been!! 😀

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