What is a good substitute for ginger?
I don't care much for the taste of ginger and so I avoid most recipes that require it.
What is a good substitue?
I did buy a small piece of ginger root today to sample it again, maybe it is just that I have never used fresh ginger before.
What kind of thing were you wanting to try? If it's sweet things like ginger cake or ginger cookies I don't think there is a substitute, I would just cook something different instead.
If it's curry or stew-type dishes but you've never used fresh ginger root before, I would cook one according to the recipe and see what you think - it generally adds to an overall exotic flavour rather than being strongly 'ginger'. And then if you don't like it, I'd probably just leave it out, i don't think it'd be a reason not to cook a recipe at all, IMHO.
Fresh ginger root is superior to dried powdered ginger; I've pretty much given up on the dried form, and keep grated fresh ginger in the freezer, along with a frozen chunk if I want a slice or two instead. The flavor of fresh vs dried is a bit different, the latter having more heat and bite, but I prefer the fresh overall. Use fresh to dried as a 6:1 ratio, depending on the age of your ginger root. Young ginger root is mild in flavor, older roots are much more potent. You may decide to use fresh ginger for everything; it is a good sub for dried, but the dried in not a reasonable sub for fresh, especially in Asian dishes.
There's really no specific spice substitute for ginger; it has a very distinct flavor, but you could try a combo of ground black pepper and nutmeg, or try ground cardamom, or if making a recipe that includes other sweet spices, just up the amounts of those, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg or mace, a bit, and add a little black pepper. Candied ginger, sugar rinsed off and minced, is a good substitute for powder in sweet baked goods.
The closest substitute would be galangal root, which is only vaguely similar in taste to ginger but might add a dimension that would otherwise be missing.