Angelica root is a unique and exciting ingredient that can be the star of any cooks’ pantry.
But how can one use and serve it and what are the best substitutes for this unusual herb?
Angelica Root has a distinctly herbal flavor, with hints of celery and parsnip, that when combined with other seasonings can produce some truly delicious and creative dishes.
The key to success when substituting in a recipe is knowing which herbs share similar tastes and aromas so that you can maintain the distinctive flair of Angelica Root.
Here we’ll discuss five of the best alternatives to expand your culinary toolkit.
What is Angelica Root?
Angelica root, also known as Angelica archangelica, is an herbaceous perennial native to Europe and Asia.
It grows up to 8 feet tall and features large, deeply incised leaves that give off a distinct sweet-spicy aroma.
Angelica root has a long history of medicinal use for its analgesic, diuretic and digestive aid properties.
It’s known to help soothe sore throats, stimulate the appetite and relieve bloating and indigestion.
It’s also used in traditional Chinese medicine as a blood purifier and detoxifier.
When it comes to culinary uses, angelica root can be enjoyed both fresh or dried.
The young stems are crisp and refreshing much like celery but with a sweeter taste.
Fresh angelica root can be chopped up into salads or stir-fries while the dried form is often used as a flavoring in Swedish mead, liqueurs, jams and jellies.
Choose carefully when seeking out angelica root – only buy from suppliers who have tested their products for purity.
Enjoy this ancient herb with caution by adding small amounts at first until you know how your body reacts.
The 5 BEST Substitutes for Angelica Root
Angelica root may be difficult to find in some areas, as it’s not a commonly used ingredient in many local stores.
Fortunately, for those who are unable to find angelica root in their area or want an alternative flavor and texture profile, there are five substitutes that you can use instead of angelica root.
All of these substitutes provide flavorful alternatives that can bring their own unique characteristics to dishes.
Here is a quick overview of the five best substitutes for angelica root:
1 – Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds are a fairly common spice in European cooking, lending flavor to foods like rye bread and sauerkraut.
They have a nutty, licorice-like flavor that is perfect for seasoning soups and curries.
Caraway seeds are much more widely available than angelica root in most grocery stores, making them an excellent option for substituting for angelica root.
However, note that the flavor is considerably different from angelica root so a less intense dish may be best if you choose caraway.
2 – Celery Seeds
Celery seeds are a great substitute for angelica root.
They are an aromatic spice that originate from the celery plant, and they have an earthy, slightly bitter flavor.
Numerous studies suggest that celery seed has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and immune-supportive benefits.
Additionally, it is thought to be helpful in treating digestive issues such as bloating and flatulence.
Celery seeds should be used sparingly because of their intense flavor; about one teaspoon should be adequate for a dish calling for two tablespoons of angelica root.
3 – Fennel
Fennel is a wonderfully fragrant and flavorful herb.
Its flavor profile is very similar to that of angelica root, meaning that it can mimic the effects of angelica, minus some of its medicinal qualities.
Fennel seed is highly aromatic with an aniselike flavor and can be found fresh in most markets or as dried seeds.
Using this herb as a substitute for angelica root will give you a similar flavor without the potentially powerful medicinal properties.
Use the ground fennel seed to sprinkle over dishes, infuse in oils or use to make tea if you’re looking for ways to substitute for angelica root.
4 – Star Anise
Star anise has a unique flavor that’s similar to that of fennel, but with a stronger licorice taste.
It’s used widely in Asian and Indian cooking, and is especially popular in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
Star anise is often ground and added to sauces or used as a whole star for added flavor.
As a substitute for angelica root, you can use 1 teaspoon ground star anise for every 1 teaspoon of angelica root.
The one downside of star anise is the strong licorice flavor which may not be suitable for those who don’t like licorice-type flavors or are sensitive to it.
5 – Parsley
Parsley is now widely used as a substitute for angelica root.
It is available in both fresh and dried forms, with the former offering more pungent and slightly peppery flavor.
Parsley contains slightly less antioxidants than angelica root.
However, its milder taste may be preferred in dishes that need to balance other strong flavors.
Additionally, parsley is rich in Vitamin K which can help improve calcium absorption, as well as Vitamin A which can support eye health and better immune system functioning.
Furthermore, parsley has anti-bacterial properties that helps fight infection and provide relief from inflammation.
Depending on the dish you are making, you can either finely chop or purée the leaves of this herb for the best results.
In conclusion, angelica root is a unique herb that adds a unique flavor to many recipes.
While it can be difficult to find in the grocery store, substitutes such as celery seed, celeriac root, fennel, star anise or parsley are excellent options for replacing its flavor.
These substitutes will help you can enhance the flavor of your dishes without having to worry about availability issues.
It is important to remember when using any of these alternatives that they are all quite pungent and will need careful consideration before using in your recipes.
The key is finding the right replacement that will give your dish just the right kick.