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Replacement ingredients for commonly used items.

I like to experiment using replacements for standard ingredients. For instance, I hate store-bought mayo (and rarely have time to make my own). So for a simple tuna fish sandwich, I often use hummus as a binder (various flavors create completely different tastes; I currently love the hot pepper hummus with tuna). On occasion, I use sour cream or a sour cream/creme fresh mixture with tuna, potato salad, or a lobster roll.

Anybody else like playing Dr. Frankenstein in the kitchen?

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  1. I make my own mayo if I need it but I dislike the taste so I usually use hot bean paste or chili bean paste on sandwiches. Hot bean paste makes everything taste good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h

      thats what i'm having for lunch today, tuna sandwich with hot bean paste. I like the chinese paste more than the thai paste which i noticed was a little more salty.

      1. re: cheryl_h

        i have never thought of using hot bean paste or chili bean paste on sandwiches.... i should try that... what short of meats taste good with it?

        1. re: mabziegurl

          It goes well with pork and lamb. I don't eat much beef, so can't say anything about that. It's also great with cheese (nothing too delicate, of course).

          I discovered how good it can taste when sampling veggie burgers which I find very bland. Boca burgers were very much better with hot bean paste. Then I tried it with tofu - it becomes a bit like a mapo tofu sandwich. Meats were the next experiment. Try it and see if you like it.

      2. I use greek yougurt to replace sour cream or instead of whipped cream in places. Its really good on apple pie.

        1. What gets me is the amount of "vegetarian" recipes that use gelatin, yet there really isn't a universal substitute for it.


          3 Replies
          1. re: TexasToast

            Agar. It's a little tricky to work with, but it works.

            1. re: piccola

              But does it work in everthing? Like in mousses and terrines and whipped cream?


              1. re: TexasToast

                Yup. At least for the first two - never tried with whipped cream.

          2. I've used bottled blue cheese dressing in place of mayo in tuna salad, because I don't like mayo, or at least the commercial kind. I often use yogurt mixed with milk in place of buttermilk in baking.

            1. I vastly prefer peanut butter to mayo on a BLT (which I know renders it a non-BLT, but there you have it).

              1 Reply
              1. re: Karl S

                If it still has bacon, lettuce, and tomato in it, it's still a BLT. BTW, I also like peanut butter in my BLTs. Just a thin schmear though.

              2. When I bake cakes, I swap equivalent amounts of chevre for butter for a little tang... have to up the liquid a bit but not a lot.

                I'll serve things with sweetened yoghurt instead of whipped cream.

                I never buy shallots... I hate that they're so expensive relative to their more usual cousins. I'll use half onion and half garlic before I'll buy a shallot.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  //When I bake cakes, I swap equivalent amounts of chevre for butter for a little tang.//

                  GREAT idea. And now, I'll pass it off as my own.:)

                2. I don't eat pork, so I often replace bacon with carmelized onions or shallots. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else would be a good bacon replacement?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shivani

                    Smoked (I use my Cameron Stovetop Smoker), oven-roasted plum tomatoes. My friend and I spent all day Saturday in my kitchen rinsing, peeling, halving, smoking, and roasting 40 lbs of San Marzano's, which we then packed in single layers in small plastic bags and froze. For vegetarians, especially, these little goodies are a wonderful alternative to bacon if you want to add a smokey flavor to a dish. They are superb in many different dishes!