Fennel Bulb Substitute – Fennel bulb is a famous European ingredient that is used in a variety of dishes such as soups, dips, stews, and salads. The vegetable is now getting popular even in the United States.
It features a crispy texture and a sweet but mild licorice-like taste. The feathery ferns just over the bulb are useful as a spice or herb for seasoning soups and stews. The wide round base is used as a vegetable by cooking it or as a part of salads as raw, thin slices. Thus, the seeds are used as herbs and stalks as a vegetable.
When cooked, the fennel bulb has a spongier texture and a more smooth taste. It is widely used in Italian cuisines apart from salads and stews. Overall, its flavor is distinct due to which you may adore or ignore it in your diet.
The Most Common Fennel Bulb Substitute Options
Well, this article is useful for both these preferences, as it helps using a fennel bulb substitute. If you do not like it, you can consider using one of the substitutes revealed below. In case you like it and happen to run out of it when you most need it during cooking, you can simply use one of the listed alternatives below.
This is likely to be an all-time favorite alternative to fennel bulb due to its almost analogous structure as well as texture. It is more suitable for those who do not want the bulb’s anise flavor.
Celery is capable of giving that crunchy flavor similar to the fennel bulb. For many, it is the most convenient as well as an accessible substitute. You can use it in stir-frying, vegetable cooking, and soups due to its crunchy texture and aromatic flavor.
Related: Celery Substitute
The flavor of celery can easily enhance a roasted item, as it is aromatic. It is ideal to use a steamed celery instead of a blanched one, as the former retains maximum nutrients in it as compared to the latter that has only half of the nutrients left.
Do you have parsley instead of celery at home? Well, that is another cool fennel bulb substitute. It is perhaps the best option for those who regularly season with parsley. Its flavor is cool and the fresh look is bright green without any bends.
Any of the two varieties can do, flat or curly leaf. However, do keep in mind that curly parsley is relatively milder in flavor and darker in color. Due to its demanded efforts for cleaning its lacy leaves, several cooks prefer the flat leaf type.
Related: Parsley Substitute
For adding a fine taste atop a cooked item, chop the leaves into fine bits. However, chop the leaves coarsely for a more savory impact, especially if it is a salad.
The look of its leaves is almost like that of the fennel leaves due to which it is considered another good fennel bulb substitute. However, the flavor is different, as it is mild and warm unlike the strong anise flavor of fennel.
In terms of aroma, dill is comparable to anise seed, as it has that typical slight aroma. You can reliably use it for cooking carrot-based items. Just like fennel, dill also has many health benefits, such as reduced cholesterol and boosted digestion.
#4. Bok Choy
This Chinese substitute is believed to be a slim version of fennel in terms of appearance. It also shares the same texture but the flavor is a bit stronger. Thus, it is considered ideal for savory recipes.
Bok Choy also resembles celery. Also known as white cabbage, this alternative is a famous ingredient in Asian dishes due to its mild taste and strong flavor. You can choose to have it raw or as cooked formed in soups and stir-fries.
This cabbage is rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Thus, it would be a wise decision to use it daily in your diet.
As fennel bulb has many uses, it is wise to know about its alternatives. Choosing the right fennel bulb substitute as per the dish requirements helps you to get the same or similar flavor and texture in the cooked recipe. You can even choose as per the nutritious content or the required health benefits.