If you’re unfamiliar with Hominy, essentially it is a matured and dried corn kernel. In Mexican cuisine, hominy is a very popular ingredient, especially when it comes to Mexican Pozole.
The process of producing hominy involves the kernels of corn going through a specific procedure that makes them edible. This is known as nixtamalization. While this can be achieved at home, it requires a lot of time and effort.
As a staple Mexican ingredient, hominy features a sweet and earthy taste. Usually, it is compared to corn, although corn has a more complex flavor.
Cooking hominy involves the same process as cooking dried beans. Although, if you don’t have any hominy at home, then you may be in need of some substitutions.
The best alternative to hominy is samp, canned hominy, chickpeas, sweet corn, dried beans, buckwheat grits, and polenta meal.
With this in mind, this article will explore everything you need to know about the best substitutes for hominy. All the products mentioned can be used in a similar fashion to hominy and can be used in a 1:1 ratio in most instances, although, adjust accordingly.
What Is Hominy?
As previously mentioned, hominy can be classified as corn. That said, it isn’t like the typical corn you may be used to seeing.
Instead of coming off a freshly cooked cob, hominy refers to the kernels of corn that have been dried and nixtamalized to be eaten whole.
Essentially, this means that the dried kernels of corn have been through a process where they are cooked and then steeped in an alkaline solution (this usually consists of food-grade lime and water).
After this procedure, the corn is then drained, rinsed, and then consumed, or milled, depending on the corn form.
This process is necessary for removing the hulls of the corn – ensuring that the inner kernel is tender and edible while enhancing the nutritional value at the same time.
As a result, you’re rewarded with more aromatic, softer, and flavorful corn kernels.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to eat dried, raw hominy, then you’ll want to soak the kernels prior to ensuring that they are tenderized and ready for cooking.
That said, if this is too much effort for you, then you can simply purchase the canned product and use it straight away.
In addition to this, you can also find hominy in a ground form, too, which can be used in the dough. Typically, it can be found in two forms: masa and hominy grits.
Masa is usually finely ground hominy, whereas hominy grits are coarsely ground. Masa is a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, especially when it comes to arepas, tortillas, tamales, and more.
Since the kernels are so finely ground, it makes for an ideal flour replacement, especially for those that have an intolerance.
If you’re looking to use raw hominy in your recipes, well, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Whether you prepare it on its own, as a side dish, or even as a main meal, with the right ingredients and flavor combinations, you’ll be in for a treat.
When combined with other vegetables, it makes for a particularly delicious side dish. Here, you can combine it with onions, garlic, avocado, peppers, and tomatoes.
Moreover, it is also delicious in stews, soups, posole, salsas, and chili – it helps to enhance both flavors and textures.
In terms of flavors, hominy can be compared to sweet corn, however, it is slightly more complex. Unlike sweetcorn, hominy doesn’t contain any sweetness, and, instead, has a unique earthy taste.
If hominy doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in or are looking for a quick substitute in your meals, then, below, you will find the best hominy alternatives to add to your dishes.
1. Canned Hominy
The first substitute for hominy is one of the most obvious ones: canned hominy. Unlike raw hominy, these are rehydrated hominy in a can which can be found in most supermarkets.
These grains are similar to corn and are generally the same as fresh ones. All you have to do is replace them with equal amounts.
In addition, they also have a mild flavor, although you need to dry them before using them. You can use these the same way you’d use canned sweet corn.
It can be added to tons of recipes including chicken soups or even as a side dish to your meat meals.
Otherwise known as Garbanzo beans, chickpeas are typically large, beige, and thin-skinned. However, when it comes to this hominy replacement, there are a ton of varieties, ranging from black brown, red, and green – all with different flavors, too.
Typically, chickpeas and earth and mildly nutty in flavor. Plus, thanks to their buttery texture, they can be used in a range of cooking techniques and methods. The most popular dishes for these chickpeas include falafel and hummus.
Depending on how long you cook your chickpeas, you should expect different outcomes and textures. You can completely cook them (great for condiments and sauces, like hummus) or you can preserve their outer layer for a crunchy, baked dish.
3. Buckwheat Grits
Another great alternative to hominy is buckwheat grits. These feature an earthy and nutty flavor that is both satisfying and hearty.
As opposed to other types of grits, buckwheat grits are many using whole buckwheat kerns that have been coarsely ground and toasted.
This provides them with a coarser texture that is more substantial than other forms of grit.
When cooked, the result is a creamy consistency that is great in a side dish or a main meal in a variety of recipes.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a delicious yet healthy substitute for hominy, then you can’t go wrong with adding buckwheat grits to your dishes.
This substitute involves the permutation of corn which is known as Samp – another great hominy replacement in your dishes.
You can also eat it dried, too. Although, here, the corn kerns are broken into small pieces, whereas hominy consists of whole kernels.
Samp is a southern African dish that is both delicious and can be used as a delicious hominy replacement.
When it comes to white hominy substitutes, sweetcorn is certainly a safe bet. Since hominy is also a type of corn, the differences between these ingredients are minimal.
The main difference you’ll notice is texture, however, with the right cooking techniques, you’ll be able to preserve the sweetcorn’s firmness.
You can also find sweetcorn canned – making it a great substitute for canned hominy. Here, you can use it in a range of dishes, including seafood salads, side dishes, tortilla fillings, soups, and with a range of veggie combinations.
It is also a great alternative for hominy in posole since they share similar flavors. You can pair sweetcorn with red kidney beans and pulled ham hock for a delicious meal.
6. Polenta Meal
If you’re unfamiliar with polenta, just know that it is a great alternative to porridge-like dishes and, of course, hominy.
It features a slightly sweet and nutty flavor with a creamy and smooth texture. Its unusual texture and flavor come from the cornmeal included.
To make this substitute, the meal is slowly simmered in broth or water until it reaches a thick consistency, it is then served with vegetables, cheese, or meat.
That said, it can also be grilled, fried, or baked. Thanks to its unique flavor, it is a favorite for many people.
7. Dried Beans
If you don’t have hominy at home, dried beans make for a great alternative. Here, to cook the beans, all you have to do is place them in a large pot of water and bring it to a simmer.
The result is a texture and flavor that is more suitable as a hominy replacement. Here, you can add garlic or onions to enhance the flavor and aroma.
When using dried beans can be used in equal amounts of hominy when added to your stews or soups.
When you don’t have any hominy at home, don’t worry! You can still make all your favorite recipes with the right substitutions.
Hopefully, this guide has informed you of all the best substitutions for hominy in your recipes.
7 Delicious Hominy SubstitutesCourse: Substitutes
Hominy is a popular ingredient in many dishes, but what if you can’t find it or want to try something different? Here are the 7 best substitutes for hominy that you can try.
- Decide on what substitute you need
- Pick a substitute from the list above
- Read what you need to substitute with
- Create the recipe and enjoy
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