The 5 Greatest Vegan Anchovy Substitutes

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Cooking and eating anchovies is a tasty and lovely experience, just like any other cuisine.

Some individuals like the flavor of anchovies, while others despise them.

Yet, there are several reasons for vegans to avoid or limit their consumption of anchovies.

It is unsuitable for vegans for a variety of reasons.

Therefore vegans must find an anchovy equivalent, and thankfully, there is a large selection of viable substitutions.

This post will explore why vegans should consider anchovies alternatives and the top 5 best vegan anchovies substitutes.

What exactly is an anchovy?

Anchovies are little, silvery fish that may be found all over the globe.

They often swim toward the seabed and eat on plankton and tiny invertebrates like crabs.

Anchovy is a common term for approximately a hundred species of oily, non-sporting fish in the Clupeidae herring family.

Anchovies are present in all seas, although they are particularly prolific in the Mediterranean.

Anchovy is mostly used as a food.

The fish flesh is canned in oil or salt, eaten fresh, or made into anchovy paste.

Anchovy paste may be spread over toast or sandwiches and is also used in a variety of cuisines.

Why Do Vegans Need an Anchovy Substitute?

Vegan diets forbid the intake of any animal-derived products, including eggs and dairy products.

This eliminates numerous regularly used culinary items, such as anchovy paste.

Nevertheless, vegan substitutes for these components are readily available.

Anchovies have a distinct flavor that some people appreciate while others do not.

Anchovy paste, on the other hand, may provide a savory flavor to foods like stews and casseroles that would otherwise lack depth of flavor.

There are several vegan options for this, which we shall address more below.

The 5 Greatest Vegan Anchovy Substitutes

Finding vegan anchovy replacements might be tricky.

If you want the same umami taste in your pasta, salads, and soups but don’t want anchovies created from salt, try these five alternatives.

1 piece of seaweed

Vegan anchovies may be replaced with seaweed.

To begin with, seaweeds are a number of various crops that grow in the sea.

It may surprise you to learn that these lush greens both taste and look like the ocean.

Seaweed has a distinct and salty taste when it is fresh.

Seaweed is crisp when dried and lends a subtle thick texture to your foods.

The key to utilizing seaweeds is to choose the kind of seaweed that best meets your taste preferences.

Dulse, for example, may be gentler, but kelp has a more fishy taste.

In summary, seaweeds include vegetables like bladderwrack (a form of kelp) that may be substituted with vegan anchovies.

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Anchovy may be replaced with soy sauce.

First and foremost, it may be used to flavor marinades, stews, sauces, and soups.

This sort of sauce is used as a basic layer of flavor in many traditional Asian cuisines.

Soy sauce is created by fermenting cooked soya beans and roasting grains.

This sauce is high in glutamic acid, an amino acid.

This molecule provides soy sauce its umami taste, which mimics the saltiness of anchovies.

While purchasing for soy sauce, try to avoid those with a high salt content.

As a consequence, low-sodium or even coconut-based soy sauce may be preferable than soybean-based soy sauce.

This bean type is often used in gluten-free recipes.

3 capsicums

Capers are the prickly flower buds of a tiny Mediterranean shrub.

Before being packed and marketed, they are often brined in vinegar or salt.

Capers have a taste profile that is comparable to anchovies in terms of saltiness and fishy overtones.

The aftertaste, on the other hand, has a sweeter and bitter flavor.

Capers may be used as a garnish or in sauces, marinades, and salad dressings.

Moreover, these spicy green particles enhance the taste of pasta dishes, soups, and even casseroles.

When cooking with capers, try to get entire capers rather than caper flakes or puree.

This is due to the fact that these substances may be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.

As a consequence, buying whole capers and crushing them with your hands before adding them to salads, sauces, and other meals is preferable.

4 tbsp. umeboshi paste

Pickled plums are used to make umeboshi paste.

There are both sweet and salty variants on the market.

This paste is often used in Asian cuisine.

It is often used as a flavor enhancer in rice and noodle recipes.

Umeboshi paste has a tangy and salty flavor that is akin to anchovies’ umami flavor.

This paste is very salty and sweet, with notes of tart fruitiness.

Yet, owing to the components, the paste is sour and somewhat acidic.

As a consequence, you should use it sparingly.

5 tablespoons miso paste

If you’re searching for a vegan alternative for anchovies, go no further than miso paste.

This paste is often used as a condiment by the Japanese.

Moreover, it is often used as an ingredient in a variety of meals, ranging from soups to salad dressings.

Miso is created by fermenting soybeans, rice, or barley.

As a consequence, this paste is fairly thick, earthy, and bittersweet.

Miso, like anchovies, has a strong fermented taste with a pungent scent.

This makes it a perfect option for utilizing animal ingredients to add depth of flavor to vegan cuisine.

Many individuals, however, find the flavor of miso to be excessively strong when they first try it.

If you’re in this camp, start with a little amount of miso and gradually add more to taste.


Finally, anchovies are a common element in many meals across the globe.

Yet, most individuals avoid eating anchovies owing to their unpleasant taste and fishy undertones.

As a consequence, there are several vegan alternatives to anchovies, including soy sauce, capers, umeboshi paste, and miso paste.

While these components are not precise reproductions of anchovies, they do closely approximate their salty and taste character.

As a result, if you’re seeking for vegan alternatives to anchovies, go no further than the items listed above.

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