The 5 Greatest Shrimp Paste Substitutes

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Shrimp paste is a Southeast Asian condiment comparable to fish sauce and anchovy paste in flavor.

This pasty foodstuff is created from fermented shrimp or krill, salt, and additional ingredients like sugar.

Since it has a strong fragrance and taste, it is normally used in limited amounts.

Shrimp paste may be used in a variety of recipes, including curries, dips, and sauces.

Nevertheless, since shrimp paste is so potent, replacement components must be explored.

This essay will concentrate on using shrimp paste as a substitute in cooking.

We’ll also talk about the taste of shrimp paste and why it’s a good idea to look for alternatives.

What exactly is Shrimp Paste?

To begin with, shrimp paste is an Asian condiment.

Shrimp paste has a strong odor that might be offensive to persons who are not acclimated to it.

It has a considerably more disagreeable stench than garlic or onion.

The paste is formed from boiling tiny shrimp or krill combined with salt.

It is then fermented for a few days.

It is then crushed up and mixed with water before being formed into balls or blocks.

Shrimp paste is a staple in many Southeast Asian cuisines, including Malaysian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Indonesian dishes.

Numerous recipes from these nations use shrimp paste as an ingredient, such as laksa, a spicy noodle soup.

The paste is probably best when combined with additional components.

It has a strong, pungent flavor and fragrance, and if not used sparingly, it may overshadow a meal.

The 5 Greatest Shrimp Paste Substitutes

While it is not nutritious, shrimp paste is a staple in many Southeast Asian meals.

Having said that, there are several methods to replace this component.

1 pound anchovies

Anchovy is another shrimp paste replacement.

This fish has a strong taste and scent, yet it is wonderful in a variety of cuisines.

The Romans consumed anchovies in large quantities, and they were one of the few meals that were served fresh rather than pickled or salted.

Nowadays, we may eat them as a pizza topping or as part of a salad dressing.

Typically, the fish is preserved, which means it is wrapped in salt or oil.

After that, you may use them as a topping on pizzas or salads.

Anchovies may be available in a specialized shop near you.

Yet, you are more likely to have to purchase them online.

Check that they are wrapped in salt rather than oil.

2 tbsp. fish sauce

Fish sauce is another common shrimp paste alternative.

This sort of sauce may be used in a variety of foods, and it has a lengthy history.

Moreover, the Vietnamese have used fish sauce for at least 2000 years.

Fish sauce is often produced from fermented anchovies and seawater, as well as other components like sugar or spices.

It is said to be a very tasty sauce with a high salt concentration.

Certain kinds might also be fairly hot. Fish sauce, on the other hand, is normally used sparingly in recipes.

This sauce is really powerful, so if you eat a lot of Asian dishes, have this replacement on hand.

3 tablespoons miso paste

Miso paste is an excellent replacement for shrimp paste if you have a food sensitivity or want to try something new.

Miso paste is a flavorful condiment produced from fermented soybeans and salt.

Moreover, miso may range in color from white to dark brown, with darker kinds having stronger tastes.

Lastly, although this paste may be used in a variety of meals, it is most typically consumed as part of miso soup.

Because of its delicate taste, many people swear by miso paste as a shrimp alternative.

It is highly adaptable, and you may use it in a variety of cuisines.

Finally, miso paste has a high protein content, so you won’t be losing out on any critical amino acids from your meals.

4 oz. bonito flake

These flakes are prepared from skipjack tuna that has been dried, fermented, and smoked.

Typically, the fish is boiled before being transferred to the oven to smoke.

Bonito flakes, unlike shrimp paste, do not have a significant odor or flavor.

Yet, since the flakes dissolve readily, they may be used as a replacement for this condiment.

When substituting bonito flakes, just a tiny amount is required.

Bonito flakes may be found at most grocery shops that offer a variety of dry items.

These flakes are frequently used in dishes like dashi, a classic Japanese soup.

5 tsp. soy sauce

Soy sauce is, unsurprisingly, the last shrimp paste alternative.

For at least 2000 years, this condiment has been utilized in Asian cuisine.

Many people believe that miso soup would be bland without soy sauce.

The appeal of this condiment stems from its ability to give a lot of flavor to cuisine.

Soy sauce is commonly produced with water, soybeans, wheat, and salt and has a high sodium concentration.

It may be used as a dipping sauce or as a garnish for sushi.

Soy sauce is generally produced in Asia, with just a few firms producing it outside of Asia.

This condiment, on the other hand, is widely available in supermarkets.

Additionally, since soy sauce is high in protein and low in fat, it is popular among those wanting to reduce weight.


Shrimp paste is often used in Southeast Asian cuisine, yet many people are unaware of how to replace it.

If you don’t want to use shrimp paste, there are various replacements you may use.

These substitutions often have comparable tastes and textures, allowing you to swiftly reintroduce your favorite foods to the table.

You should have a better notion of the components you may replace for shrimp paste after reading this article.

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