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Shallots as substitute for garlic

My boyfriend's stomach reacts very badly when I cook with a lot of garlic (as I like to do). It doesn't matter how cooked down it is, how thinly I slice it - nothing makes it better. I use shallots as a substitute, but am wondering if anyone has a better idea.

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  1. Well, at the risk of stating the obvious, try less garlic.

    The additive of choice would depend on what you're making. Like you, I prefer lots of garlic whereas others do not. I've not suffered from using somewhat less garlic.

    2 Replies
    1. re: 280 Ninth

      I should have clarified... any amount of garlic is bad for him. A lot of garlic is just my preference.

      1. re: 280 Ninth

        Shallots, like garlic is a member of the Allium family. I have a friend that is allergic to garlic and stays away from the entire group.

      2. you're obviously not going to recreate a garlic flavor without garlic.

        shallots substitute, but are very wimpy.

        how badly does his stomach react? vomiting or just gas?

        if it's just gas, i'd say your BF is a normal male and you're in for a lot more "bad stomach reactions" in the future.

        a lot more.


        2 Replies
        1. re: hitachino

          not vomiting... but bad gas. And yes, I know tat there is much more than just garlic that gets it going, but I try to minimize it for my sake!


          1. re: lamlex

            beano saved my marriage. and lest you think i'm joking....i'm not. :o)

        2. Try using garlic greens or stems.
          You could also try Chinese or Korean garlic chives which should be available in Asian stores.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hannaone

            oooh i second garlic chives! yummy.

          2. Shallots are much more similar to onions than garlic. The only thing I can think of that tastes like garlic is, well, garlic. Really, I don't think there are any substitutes. Shallots are probably about as close as you'll get.

            That's an unfortunate aversion your BF has. Garlic is some damn tasty stuff. I know I would have a hard time without it.

            1. i love garlic but have not any problems so far. perhaps if you love garlic just rub it on whatever you are preparing - the oil alone is mighty tasty.

              1 Reply
              1. re: howchow

                I second the rubbing it on idea. You might also suggest that your boyfriend get an allergy test just to find out if an allergy might be the source of the intolerance. ( I have a dear friend who loves cooking and likes garlic but unfortunately acquired a garlic allergy.) This friend has a bigger problem with raw garlic than with cooked, so you might find that infusing some oil you like to to use in cooking with some roasted garlic might help. I've never tried what follows before, but maybe you could steep some oil with roasted garlic cloves wrapped in cheese cloth or a tea ball to impart some garlic flavor.

              2. Two things I might suggest:

                1. Have you tried removing the sprout or "germ" from each clove of garlic? I've been told by reliable sources that this is difficult to digest, and I have noticed a difference in my own tolerance of garlic since I started removing it.

                2. Would it help to use whole cloves of garlic to flavor sauces, etc., and then remove them when the dish is cooked (or before they turn to mush)? I also use whole or halved garlic cloves to flavor raw dishes (like marinated fava beans), then remove them when the flavor is garlicky eough. Along the same lines, have you tried garlic-infused olive oil? You can buy it in a lot of supermarkets. It might help give you the flavor without the bad effects?

                1. Sometimes people who have problems with garlic, have much less or no problem with garlic that has been roasted...I agree with maybe trying whole cloves that can be removed after the cooking...Try and see if this works

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jinet12

                    Also, what about roasting Elephant garlic which has a much milder taste?

                  2. There is a plant called "Society garlic". The leaves look a bit like asian chives (flat, not round like the kind you put on potatoes), and they do have a rather strong garlic taste. It's so named because it doesn't give you garlic breath. I haven't cooked with it, so can't say if adds the same flavor, but it might work. But you'll never see it in grocery stores. Try your local plant nurseries. I've even seen it at Home Depot. And if you happen to live in Oakland CA, they use it as an ornamental in Jack London Square.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Zeldog

                      Whole cloves would be the way to go if you use garlic. The more you slice/cut it, the stronger it is. Also agree with the roasting which softens the flavor of the garlic. Don't know if this will help with the gas, etc.

                    2. I have recently developed a stomach problem with garlic. I discovered that beano works wonders. You can find it in drug stores and most supermarkets. It's an enzyme that helps with digesting some of the problem veggie saccharides. It's not just for beans :-) and not just about gas. It really helps me avoid upset stomach after lots of garlic and onions.

                      1. >>"Asafoetida is an excellent substitute for garlic."<<

                        I cook with garlic. I cook with asafoetida. I couldn't disagree more strongly.

                        Some of the worst food I've ever eaten was "Italian" food cooked according to Ayurvedic principles with the misguided notion that asafoedita can substitute for garlic. It can't.