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Uncommon Ingredient Substitutions

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Here is a list of uncommon ingredient substitutes, for those recipes with hard-to-find ingredients.

ITEM SUBSTITUTION
Balsamic vinegar—1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Bamboo shoots Asparagus (in fried dishes)
Bergamot Mint
Chayotes Yellow summer squash or zucchini
Cilantro Parsley (for color only; flavor cannot be duplicated)
Coconut milk 2–1/2 cups water plus 2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut.

Combine and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cool. Mix in a blender for 2 minutes; strain. Makes about 2 cups.

Delicata squash Butternut squash or sweet potato
Green mangoes Sour, green cooking apples
Habanero peppers 5 jalapeno peppers or serrano peppers
Italian seasoning Equal parts basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme
Lemon grass Lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon equals 2 stalks lemon grass)
Limes or lime juice Lemons or lemon juice
Lo Mein noodles Egg noodles
Mascarpone
— 1 cup
3 tablespoons heavy cream plus 3/4 cup cream cheese plus 4 tablespoons butter
Neufchatel Cream cheese or Boursin
Palm sugar Light brown sugar
Rice wine Pale, dry sherry or white vermouth
Red peppers Equal amount pimientos
Romano cheese Parmesan cheese
Saffron Turmeric (for color; flavor is different)
Shallots Red onions or Spanish onions
Shrimp paste Anchovy paste
Tamarind juice 5 parts ketchup to 1 part vinegar

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