What can I substitute for harissa?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “what can I substitute for harissa?” with an in-depth analysis of what can be substituted for harissa. Moreover, we will also discuss the effects of substituting harissa with its substitutes on the recipes.

What can I substitute for harissa?

For every tablespoon of harissa, you can substitute a tablespoon of berbere, chile paste, or table (Tunisian spice paste), or red chili paste. This North African red chili paste packs a lot of heat. Of course, for a little less heat, you can always use hot sauce.

Can you substitute harissa with red chili paste?

Yes, red chili paste can be used as a substitution for harissa. Red chili paste is a perfect substitution for those that are looking for color and heat. This paste is often sold on its own as a base for other sauces, particularly for Latin American dishes. However, you can add a little to your dish, but make sure to try it first, as it is extremely spicy.

Most commercial brands will use different kinds of chilies, including Ancho, Anaheim, or Arboles. For a more similar flavor, consider using garlic, cumin, and caraway seeds mixed in. Use this choice when baking, in dips, and if you plan on cooking chicken.

How much red chili paste can be used as a harissa substitute?

For each tablespoon of harissa, you can substitute a tablespoon of red chili paste.

Can you substitute gochujang with harissa?

Yes, gochujang can be used as a substitute for harissa. Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste that has a sweet and spicy, slightly tart, flavor. If you like Korean dishes, like kimchi or bibimbap, then you have tried this paste before. Gochujang brings a new type of sweetness that comes from the starch of the rice that is fermented.

When can gochujang be used as a substitution for harissa?

Use gochujang when you want to cook vegetable dishes, chicken, and in some dips. You should consider, though, that Gochujang adds a certain tartness that harissa doesn’t have, so it may change the overall flavor.

Can you substitute sriracha with harissa?

Yes, sriracha can be used as a substitute for harissa. Sriracha is a type of hot sauce that comes from chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. This sauce was invented in California, but it is still a staple of Asian cuisines these days. Most people find sriracha to be spicy and slightly pungent, so you may want to add only a dash.

When sriracha can be used as a substitution for harissa?

Using sriracha is a good idea when you are preparing chicken, stews, dips, soups, and broth. Sriracha will make your dish hot, and it is a spice that lasts longer in the mouth than in harissa. When replacing harissa with this hot sauce, use about ⅓ of the amount at most.

Can you replace harissa with ras el hanout?

Yes, ras el hanout can be used to replace harissa. If you are looking to add flavor, heat, and color, then using ras el hanout can be a good option. This choice consists of a mixture of over a dozen spices, typically used in African and Middle Eastern foods.

Ras el Hanout typically includes cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, paprika, fenugreek, and turmeric.

You may want to mix in a bit of garlic paste and rosewater or apple cider vinegar to make the spice into a paste. Ras el Hanout can be easy to find in international food stores and if you are lucky, in the international aisle of your grocery store.

Can you substitute harissa with red chili flakes?

Yes, red chili flakes are a good substitution for harissa. You can use red pepper flakes in certain dishes that would otherwise require harissa. When you use red pepper flakes you aren’t adding texture or color, but only a bit of heat. These flakes are great in marinades, vegetable dishes, yogurt dips, and meat.

How much red chili flakes should be added in place of harissa?

For every one teaspoon of harissa, use about 1 ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes. 

You may also want to use garlic, salt, and a touch of honey along with red chili flakes for a more similar flavor to harissa.

Can harrisa be replaced with hot sauce in recipes?

Yes, hot sauce can easily replace harissa in recipes and dishes where harissa is required. Using a hot sauce shouldn’t be surprising, as it has a similar color and adds heat as well. You can pretty much choose any hot sauce of your liking, but make sure you try it first and measure how much you add.

How can you substitute hot sauce with harissa?

Harissa is a bit sweet and smoky too, so you can add a touch of honey and some garlic and paprika along with the hot sauce.

You can choose a hot sauce for marinades, roasted vegetables, meat, and more. The type of heat that hot sauce brings varies from the one in harissa, so you may want to cut the amount you use in half at first.

You can always mix hot sauce with other spices or items in this list to lower the heat.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we have answered the question “what can I substitute for harissa?” with an in-depth analysis of what can be substituted for harissa. Moreover, we have also discussed the effects of substituting harissa with its substitutes on the recipes.

Citations:

https://www.pepperscale.com/harissa-substitute/
https://www.foodfanatic.com/2020/08/harissa-substitute/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.