The 5 Best Substitutes for Bagoong

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Bagoong is a type of condiment that is commonly used in the Philippines and is made from fermented fish or shrimp.

It has a salty flavor, a slightly sweet aftertaste, and a strong odor.

Bagoong is commonly used to impart flavor to rice dishes, stir-fries, and soups.

It is also a popular ingredient in the street food sold throughout the Philippines.

Bagoong is a key component in a wide variety of traditional Filipino dishes; however, it is not widely available in countries other than the Philippines.

There are many different things that can be used in place of bagoong if you are looking for a replacement.

In this piece, we will go over five different foods that are excellent stand-ins for bagoong.

What is Bagoong?

Bagoong is a traditional condiment in the Philippines that is made by fermenting fish or shrimp in salt.

In addition to being salty and mildly sour, it has a flavor profile that is undeniably umami.

It is not known exactly where bagoong originated; however, it is speculated that either China or Indonesia was the place of origin.

It is likely that commerce was the means by which it was brought to the Philippines.

Bagoong has been a staple in Filipino cooking for centuries, and the dish can take on a variety of forms depending on where you are.

Rice that has been steamed is the traditional accompaniment for bagoong.

In addition to that, you can make a dipping sauce out of it, or add it to soups, salads, or any number of other dishes.

It is essential to keep in mind that a small amount of bagoong can go a very long way when you are using it as a condiment.

It is important to only use a small amount of this powerful seasoning so that it does not compete with the dish’s other flavors.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bagoong

Don’t worry if you don’t have any bagoong on hand but you want to season a dish with something salty and savory but you don’t have any bagoong.

There are many alternatives that can be used instead that are equally effective.

1 – Shrimp Paste

In a great number of Asian cuisines, shrimp paste is a common component.

The taste is really salty, and the consistency is just a little bit sticky.

The shrimp or krill that has been fermented and then mashed into a paste is what is known as “shrimp paste.”

In the cuisine of Southeast Asia, it is often used in the role of a spice or condiment.

It is possible to include shrimp paste into stews, soups, and stir-fries.

Bagoong, a well-known meal in the Philippines, may also be made using this ingredient.

If you are unable to get shrimp paste, you may use bagoong as an alternative to achieve the similar taste profile.

Please keep in mind that bagoong has a substantially higher sodium content than shrimp paste.

2 – Dried Shrimps

Dried shrimp is an excellent replacement for fresh shrimp.

Dried shrimp have a flavor and consistency that are comparable to bagoong, and they can be used in the same applications as bagoong.

When you go to the store to buy dried shrimp, you should look for ones that are full and have a color that is still slightly pink.

Steer clear of any that are dry or have developed a brown color.

To prepare the shrimp for use, simply submerge them in water for approximately 15 minutes before adding them to your dish.

You just need a little bit of ingenuity and some imagination to replicate the flavor of bagoong with dried shrimp.

3 – Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a condiment that is widely used and consumed in many different Asian countries.

It has a robust taste because it is made from fermented fish and salt, and it is a condiment.

Fish sauce is frequently employed in the capacities of dipping sauce, condiment, and ingredient in soups and stir-fries.

A traditional Filipino shrimp paste known as bagoong can also be replaced with this ingredient.

Fish sauce has a complex flavor that is both salty and umami, despite the fact that its name may not sound all that appetizing to some people.

The fish proteins are broken down during the fermentation process, which results in a sauce that is high in amino acids.

Due to the high amount of sugar that was produced during the fermentation process, the fish sauce also has a slightly sweet flavor to it.

Fish sauce is an excellent option to consider if you’re looking for an alternative to bagoong.

It has a flavor similar to salt, but there is no trace of shrimpiness in it.

Fish sauce can be utilized as a dipping sauce for grilled meats or vegetables, in addition to being an ingredient in stews and sauces.

Begin with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce when using it in place of bagoong and add more as desired for flavor.

To counteract the saltiness, you could also try incorporating some sugar or lime juice into the dish.

4 – Anchovies

Anchovies are a type of small, salty fish that are frequently used as an ingredient in the process of flavoring or seasoning food.

They have a flavor that is robust and pungent, as well as a texture that is firm and chewy.

You can purchase anchovies in a variety of forms, including fresh, canned, or dried.

They are also offered in a wide variety of other formats, such as whole, fillets, and paste versions respectively.

Caesar salad and pizza are two popular dishes that feature anchovies.

You can also use them in place of bagoong, which is a traditional shrimp paste used in Filipino cooking.

Simply add the anchovies to the dish when you first start cooking it in order to make a substitution for the bagoong.

The dish will have a similar salty and umami flavor thanks to the anchovies, but it won’t be as overpowering as it would be with shrimp paste.

5 – Miso

Miso is a fermented soybean paste that is commonly used in Japanese cooking. For those who have not had the opportunity to enjoy it, let us explain what miso is.

The flavor is salty and rich in umami, making it an excellent choice for enhancing the flavor of soups and sauces.

Because of its creamy consistency, miso is a versatile condiment that can be used to spread on toast, incorporate into dressings and marinades, or both.

And the best part is that it can be used in place of a variety of other sauces, such as fish sauce, soy sauce, or even shrimp paste. It is extremely versatile.

Because of this, miso is an excellent choice to consider if you are looking for an ingredient that is rich in umami and will give your cooking more depth.


In conclusion, there are a lot of different things that can be used as an alternative to bagoong.

The flavors of shrimp paste, dried shrimp, fish sauce, anchovies, and miso are all comparable to one another and can be employed in a comparable manner.

Don’t worry if you can’t find bagoong at the store near you because you can still make some of your favorite Filipino dishes with one of these other delicious ingredients that can stand in for bagoong.


What is an alternative for Bagoong?

Paste made from soybeans – instead of using soy bean paste, you can use white miso paste in its place.

What is Bagoong made of?

Bagoong (Tagalog pronunciation: [buo]; buh-goo-ONG) is a condiment native to the Philippines that can be made in whole or in part from fermented fish (bagoong) or from krill or shrimp paste (alamáng) that has been seasoned with salt. The fermentation process also results in the production of pats, which is a fish sauce.

What is the best substitute for shrimp paste?

Replace with an Alternative to Shrimp Paste

You can use 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste or 1 mashed anchovy fillet as a substitute for 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste. Anchovies have a milder smell and flavor than other fish.

What is the substitute for shrimp paste?

If you are trying to recreate a dish that calls for shrimp paste, you should use the following equation: The amount of fish sauce, vegetarian stir-fry sauce, or Golden Mountain sauce that is equivalent to one half teaspoon of shrimp paste is one tablespoon. In a pinch, you could also use soy sauce as a substitute; however, the dish might end up tasting bland or turning out too dark in color if you do this.

Is bagoong only in the Philippines?

Fish sauce is also created through the fermentation process that creates soy sauce. However, bagoong is not something that is exclusive to the Philippines. Fermenting seafood is ingrained in the culture of countries close by, including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia; as a result, bagoong is also commonly consumed in these nations.