What can I substitute for fish sauce?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “what can I substitute for fish sauce,” discuss fish sauce, and where to find fish sauce easily.

What can I substitute for fish sauce?

You can substitute soya sauce, tamari, oyster sauce, seaweed, etc., for fish sauce.  Fish sauce is a condiment that’s made by fermenting fish. It’s a staple in Southeast Asian cuisines, like Thai and Vietnamese foods, and it’s high in protein and amino acids.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know that they can substitute fish sauce with other ingredients without losing its salty flavor. Here are some elements to try if you’re looking for the best fish sauce substitutes:

Anchovy paste

This is the best substitute for fish sauce due to its similar fishy taste. You can use anchovy paste in a 1:1 ratio instead of fish sauce.

Mushroom stock

Add this to dishes when you don’t want a solid fishy flavor but still need saltiness. Use one tablespoon of mushroom stock for every teaspoon of fish sauce.

Oyster sauce

This is a popular option because it’s usually found in Asian grocery stores and has a similar umami flavor as fish sauce. You can use one tablespoon of oyster sauce for every teaspoon of fish sauce.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce can be used as another substitute for fish sauce, but it has different properties than actual fish sauce, so you should add an extra teaspoon of soy sauce for every teaspoon of fish sauce.

Your favorite soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans and salt, so why not try this delicious soy sauce substitute? It has a rich, salty flavor and can be used in any dish, from stir-fries to soups.

Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice. It has a unique, intense flavor that you can use in any dish, from salads to stir-fries. This difference makes it an excellent substitute for fish sauce in Thai dishes and helps you enjoy more variety in your cooking.

Tamarind paste 

Tamarind paste is made from the dried pulp of the fruit known as tamarind. It has a sweet, sour flavor that you can use in any dish.

Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a popular condiment for many different dishes, but recently it has made the headlines for being the replacement for fish sauce.

Worcestershire sauce is a common condiment that is used in a variety of different dishes and sauces. However, one of its most popular uses is a replacement for fish sauce due to its similarity in flavor.

Worcestershire sauce has been used by vegetarians and vegans who wish to avoid animal products.

Vegan fish sauce

Vegan fish sauce is a by-product of the fermentation of mushrooms to make a type of soy sauce. Unlike actual fish sauce, this product is made without fish and often is made with vegan ingredients that are not traditional in the traditional Asian cooking and fermentation process.

The product can be used in recipes that call for fish sauce, but it also has its unique flavor, which may not be familiar to customers unfamiliar with the product.

Fish sauce is a fundamental ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine but can be difficult for home chefs without access to a local Asian market to find. Here are some substitutes that can give you a similar flavor to fish sauce.

Shrimp paste

Made from fermented shrimp, this salty seasoning is common in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia dishes. You can find it at major supermarkets or most Asian markets. While not exact, it will give you many of the same flavors like fish sauce and can take the place of fish sauce in stir-fries and soups.

Fish stock

This can be made home by simmering fish bones, trimmings, and heads with vegetables and herbs for several hours. This will give your dish a similar seafood flavor to fish sauce while also adding depth.

What is fish sauce?

Fish sauce is a fermented condiment made from fish, salt, and water (sometimes sugar and other spices). It’s usually made from anchovies, and as such, it can be challenging to find vegetarian versions. The process is similar to how soy sauce is made.

The fish sauce originated in Southeast Asia and has been used in Thai cooking since the 13th century; it was invented by Chinese immigrants who moved to the area.

Where to find fish sauce?

You can find fish sauce in most Asian grocery stores. It’s also available at some health food and larger grocery stores with an international section. If you can’t find any, consider ordering online from a specialty site that carries fish sauces from different countries.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

What is Worcestershire sauce made of?

What is hoisin sauce made of?

What is yuzu sauce made of?

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In this brief guide, we have addressed the question, “what can I substitute for fish sauce,” discussed what fish sauce is and where to find fish sauce easily.