Fennel has been popular overseas for a long time because it goes well with fish dishes.
Many people who like to cook have probably used it before.
However, it is rarely found in ordinary supermarkets, so you may find yourself saying, “I can’t get it when I want to use it…”.
Oh no! I don’t have any fennel. What should I do?
If you know what you can substitute for fennel, you can avoid giving up on the dishes you want to make.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to a few “fennel substitutes” that can be useful when you’re in trouble, so please take a look!
What are the characteristics of fennel and what should I look for when choosing a substitute?
Fennel is a perennial herb of the genus Ukiyo in the parsley family.
The leaves have a unique sweet and refreshing flavor and are often used to remove odors from food and to flavor dishes.
The puckered root part also has a unique aroma and a slightly peculiar flavor.
Fennel has a crunchy texture when eaten raw and a sweet flavor when cooked, which makes it perfect for salads and stews.
The seeds of fennel can also be used and are sold commercially as a spice under the name “fennel seed”.
As with the leaves, the seeds are often used to remove odors and add flavor and are easy to use.
When looking for a substitute for such fennel, it is important to “choose a substitute according to the recipe (the part to be used).
As mentioned above, the leaves, seeds, and roots of fennel have different flavors and uses, so when choosing a substitute, it is recommended to use a substitute that matches the characteristics of each and the recipe.
For the leaves and seeds, choose those that have a similar aroma and can be used to eliminate odors and flavor, and for the root part, choose those that are similar in texture and flavor.
Recommend these 8 substitutes to fennel
Fennel Substitute 1: Celery
Celery, often used in salads and soups, is a good substitute for fennel.
Celery’s unique fresh aroma and peculiar flavor are very similar to that of fennel’s stalk and root, so it can create a similar atmosphere to fennel.
When substituting celery, you can use the same as when using fennel root as is.
It will serve as a fine substitute in salads, soups, and stews.
Fennel substitute 2: Dill
Dill, which goes well with fish dishes as well as fennel, can also be used in place of fennel.
It looks just like fennel leaves and has a very similar aroma.
It is a great substitute for fennel in salads and garnishing dishes, as well as for removing odors and flavoring food.
When using dill as a substitute, you can use it just as you would use fennel leaves.
Compared to fennel, dill has a milder aroma and a slightly more pungent flavor, but it’s a great substitute!
Fennel substitute 3: Parsley
Parsley, which is often used to garnish food, can also be used in place of fennel.
Parsley can also be used in eliminating the smell of food, so it is a good substitute for fennel leaves.
When substituting parsley, you can use the same as when using fennel leaves as is.
It’s perfect for taking away the smell of fish, and it’s easier to find than fennel, so if you’re having trouble, try substituting it.
Fennel substitute 4: Anise
Anise, a spice with a unique sweet aroma, is also a good substitute for fennel, depending on the recipe.
Anise contains anethole, the same aromatic ingredient as fennel, so it has a sweet aroma similar to fennel.
This makes it a perfect substitute for fennel in eliminating odors in food and flavoring dishes.
When using anise as a substitute, you can use it as you would use fennel seeds.
The sweet aroma of the anise will serve as a good substitute for fennel.
Fennel substitute 5: Thyme
Thyme, another herb that goes well with fish dishes like fennel and dill, is also a good substitute for fennel.
Thyme has many uses in cooking and is also known as the “all-purpose spice”.
Thyme can be used as a substitute for fennel in the same way.
It has a slightly different aroma and flavor than fennel, but thyme’s elegant and refreshing scent will take your food and dishes to the next level instead of fennel!
Fennel substitute 6: Basil
Basil, often used in Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta, can also be used in place of fennel in some recipes.
Basil has the same sweet aroma as fennel, so it’s a perfect substitute when you want to make a sauce with fennel leaves.
When substituting basil, you can use it just as you would use fennel leaves.
By the way, fennel sauce can be mutually substituted for Genovese, which is a basil sauce, so it’s useful to keep that in mind.
Fennel substitute 7: Onion
Onions, which are very active in all kinds of dishes such as stir-fries and stews, can also be used in place of fennel depending on the recipe.
The root of fennel is very similar to onion in appearance and usage, and it also has the same characteristic of becoming sweet when heated, so it is recommended to substitute it when making soups and stews.
When substituting onions, you can use the same as when using fennel root as is.
The only drawback is that while the texture and sweetness will be similar to the fennel root, the flavor and aroma will not be replicated.
When using onions, please keep in mind that they are only a substitute for texture and sweetness.
Fennel substitute 8: Caraway
Caraway, which has both a fresh and sweet aroma, can also be used in place of fennel in some recipes.
Caraway is often used to flavor food with its aroma, so it is a good substitute when you want to use fennel seeds for flavoring.
When substituting caraway, you can use the same as when using fennel seeds.
- Fennel has a unique sweet and refreshing flavor in the leaves, and a unique and slightly peculiar flavor in the root.
- Fennel substitutes should be chosen according to the characteristics of the parts used, such as fennel leaves, seeds, and roots.
- The following eight fennel substitutes are recommended. [celery, dill, parsley, anise, thyme, basil, onion, caraway].