Substitute for leeks

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taxlady

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I like cooking Danish recipes. Danes use leeks a lot compared with here on the left side of the Atlantic. They are cheap in Denmark, but really quite expensive here and not always available. I'm looking for a good substitute. Sure, sometimes regular onions make a good substitute, but what would be closest in flavour to leeks? I have read that shallots come closest in flavour and that scallions (the long, thin, green onions) are also a good substitute.

Any suggestions? Any experience with substitutes?
 

karadekoolaid

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Even though leeks are the same family as onions, shallots, green/spring onions, and ramps, I honestly don´t think there is a plausible substitute.
However, if push came to shove, I´d probably go for a mixture of shallots and green onions.
 

taxlady

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Even though leeks are the same family as onions, shallots, green/spring onions, and ramps, I honestly don´t think there is a plausible substitute.
However, if push came to shove, I´d probably go for a mixture of shallots and green onions.

Thanks, I have been leaning in that direction. Leeks do have their own distinctive flavour. I would say they are slightly sweet and oniony, but without the oniony bite.
 

taxlady

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Thanks, I have been leaning in that direction. Leeks do have their own distinctive flavour. I would say they are slightly sweet and oniony, but without the oniony bite.

Hmm, the supermarket accidentally sent me sweet red onions instead of regular red onions. I find them a bit lacking in that oniony punch. That might be a good way to use up some of those, subbing them for the shallots.
 

CharlieD

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Shallots are just as expensive as leaks and so are the green onions. Or at least as of late. Might as well use leaks then. However it is our local situation. It might be different in different places.
 

dragnlaw

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Don't have a suggestion for a sub, but perhaps a suggestion for the future?
Dehydrate when on sale. If you don't have a dedicated dehydrator the oven works too.
The dried leeks can be stored in jars or bags, tehydrate when needed. Or as bliss does- grind into a powder.
Dwpending on end use I will add the dried leeks 'as is' to something that jas a lot of liquid or rehydrate in waem water first as you woild do with dried muahrooms.
 

taxlady

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Shallots are just as expensive as leaks and so are the green onions. Or at least as of late. Might as well use leaks then. However it is our local situation. It might be different in different places.

Yeah, but I'm more concerned with even being able to get leeks. Of course, I make it harder on myself because I really prefer to get the locally grown stuff to imported.
 

taxlady

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Don't have a suggestion for a sub, but perhaps a suggestion for the future?
Dehydrate when on sale. If you don't have a dedicated dehydrator the oven works too.
The dried leeks can be stored in jars or bags, tehydrate when needed. Or as bliss does- grind into a powder.
Dwpending on end use I will add the dried leeks 'as is' to something that jas a lot of liquid or rehydrate in waem water first as you woild do with dried muahrooms.

I was wondering about dehydrating them. My toaster oven has a dehydrate function. How do you prep them for dehydrating? Chop them? Slice them into rings? How dry do they have to be after washing them, before you start dehydrating them, or is that just irrelevant?
 

dragnlaw

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Just as if I was cooking them - slice into approx. 1/4"pieces and wash thoroughly.

I dried mine roughly on a dish towel and spread (trying to not have them touch - not very successful at that :rolleyes:) on your tray. Pop them into your oven at the setting for dehydrating. I don't remember exactly how long it was but maybe 8 or 10 hours? Test for leathery or crispy which ever you prefer.

Booklet that came with dehydrator was talking leathery for a lot of the products but that didn't/doesn't make sense to me. I did crispy.

When done and cooled I jarred them and shelved in storage pantry.
 

taxlady

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Thanks dragn. I should try to find the instruction booklet that came with that toaster oven. I haven't looked at it in years, but I think it will be with other instruction booklets. I don't remember if it had info about dehydrating. I got that toaster oven for Yule of 1995.
 

GotGarlic

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Thanks dragn. I should try to find the instruction booklet that came with that toaster oven. I haven't looked at it in years, but I think it will be with other instruction booklets. I don't remember if it had info about dehydrating. I got that toaster oven for Yule of 1995.
If you can't find your paper copy, manufacturers usually have their owners manuals online now.
 

summer57

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Do you live near an Asian market? Chinese leeks are very similar and much cheaper. I actually prefer Chinese leeks, especially in egg dishes. You can use green part, too.
 

taxlady

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Do you live near an Asian market? Chinese leeks are very similar and much cheaper. I actually prefer Chinese leeks, especially in egg dishes. You can use green part, too.

Thanks for the tip. I wonder if they are more like the Danish leeks. You can use the green part on them too. I remember liking leeks better when I lived in Denmark.
 

Vai101

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If you are looking to substitute leeks, you may want to consider using fennel. Fennel has a mild, anise-like flavor and a crunchy texture that is similar to leeks. You can use it in soups, stews, and stir-fries, or roast it for a side dish. You may also want to consider using celery. It has a crunchy texture and mild flavor that can be used in place of leeks in soups, stews, and other dishes. For a more intense flavor, consider using onion or garlic. Both of these have a strong flavor that will stand out in a dish and can be used in place of leeks.
 

Badjak

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Can you get freshly harvested onions?
You can use the leek of them instead of proper leeks.

Otherwise shallot, onion, spring onion etc. Not the same, but it will do.

I find it real strange that leek is so expensive in the states. To me it's a cheap vegetable. (I'm not Danish, but Dutch. Leek was always there in abundance)
 
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