Here are some food substitution suggestions for ingredients commonly used in Chinese cooking.

Substitutions Edit

Ingredient Substitute
Agar-agar (An Asian gelatin substitute that doesn't require refrigeration) Gelatin
Bamboo shoots White cabbage
Bok choy celery or Swiss chard
Chili sauce 1 cup tomato sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp vinegar, ¼ tsp cinnamon, dash of ground cloves and allspice
Chinese five-spice powder Equal amounts cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel, and Szechuan peppercorn
Szechuan peppercorn If Szechuan peppercorns aren't available, use freshly ground black peppercorns
Cilantro or coriander (Chinese parsley) Parsley (for decoration only, not taste) Can add dash lemon juice
Coconut milk whole milk in equal amounts, if possible with coconut extract.
Coconut cream half and half or whipping cream (with coconut extract if possible).
Galangal (used in Thai cooking) Fresh ginger
Fresh ginger Candied ginger
Garlic cloves ⅛ tsp garlic powder
Hoisin sauce Equal amounts ketchup and molasses. Also, sweet bean sauce.
Hot red chili Crushed red pepper
Lemon grass (used in Thai cooking) Zest of a lemon
Lotus root flour Cornstarch (Cornflour)
Mushrooms (straw, clouds ear) Fresh mushrooms (the taste will be different)
Oyster sauce Soy sauce
Rice wine vinegar (also called rice vinegar) Dry sherry, white wine vinegar, or malt vinegar
Sesame oil 1 tbsp sesame seeds fried in ½ cup vegetable oil
Soy sauce Japanese tamari or Worcestershire sauce
Water chestnut Jicama (commonly found in the Southern United States)
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