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Depending on where you live, shrimp paste is known by various names. Terasi is the Indonesian word for it; Kapi is the Thai word for it, and Belachan is the Malaysian word for it.

Shrimp paste is prepared from fermented, dried shrimp that has been further processed and marketed as solid blocks or paste.

This essential ingredient comes from Southeast Asia and has strong, umami undertones that offer an incredible depth of flavor to whatever recipe it is put to.

Shrimp paste complements each meal it is added to, so it’s no wonder that you run out soon. If you run out of shrimp paste or have dietary constraints that prohibit you from eating shrimp, there are several shrimp paste replacements available.

Fish sauce, miso, soy sauce, anchovies, bonito flakes, and other ingredients are excellent alternatives for shrimp paste.

Best Shrimp Paste Substitutes

These are some of the greatest shrimp paste substitutions you should try right now!

1. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a simple condiment that can be found in most stores with an Asian department. Fish sauce has a strong salty taste and, like shrimp paste, is derived from fermented seafood. As a result, fish sauce is the closest alternative for shrimp paste.

Since shrimp paste has a more pungent taste profile, the flavors of each component are not completely comparable, although their distinctions are scarcely discernible in the finished meal.

When substituting fish sauce for shrimp paste, the amount must be increased. In other words, if the recipe asks for 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste, use 1-2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Make the replacement gradually, tasting it as you go until you get the perfect flavor balance.

Also see: Best Galangal Substitutes

2. Anchovies

Anchovies, like shrimp paste, provide a powerful wave of salt and fishy taste to foods. They’re loaded with umami deliciousness, which contributes to the mouthwatering taste.

To make the fish easier to include into the recipe, mix it into a paste with a little water.

Instead of genuine anchovies, use the paste, which has a smooth consistency that is simple to incorporate into sauces, soups, or sautéed vegetables. Anchovy paste is also milder than fillets.

If a recipe asks for 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste, use twice as much anchovy paste to get the same taste. A dash of light soy sauce may be added to the anchovy paste to make it more flavorful.

3. Miso

Whether you have dietary limitations or are unable to eat seafood for whatever reason, you may still enjoy the distinct taste that shrimp paste adds to recipes. This is where miso comes in; it is the ideal alternative for individuals who are unable or unable to consume seafood.

This fermented bean paste is rich in salty, umami tastes. But, you do not want to use the light miso paste for this reason. Use darker miso pastes for deeper and richer flavor notes.

The prolonged fermentation and maturing time, which gives black miso paste its color, also contributes to its taste. Use 1-2 tbsp of dark miso paste for every tsp of shrimp paste used in a dish. When you add the ingredient, taste it and adjust the quantity as required.

Also read: Best Spice Substitutes

4. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce may be used in place of shrimp paste, adding a salty and bitter taste to your meal. You may need to use a lot of this sauce since it has a lot less taste than shrimp paste.

If you are not cautious, you risk destroying the meal by allowing it to get excessively dark and unpleasant. But, if you want an alternative with a milder taste than shrimp paste, soy sauce is a suitable choice.

5. Bonito Flakes

Japanese bonito flakes are formed from fermented, dried bonito or skipjack tuna and salt; they are ultra-thin flakes with a lot of taste. Bonito flakes have a softer fish flavor than shrimp paste but a powerful savory flavor.

Bonito flakes have a milder flavor and may be sprinkled over noodles or used to soups and casseroles.

They do, however, have a distinct texture than shrimp paste, thus they cannot be used in all meals.

Vegan/Vegetarian Substitutes For Shrimp Paste

If you’re a vegetarian, here are some vegan substitutes for shrimp paste!

6. Tamari or Vegan Fish Sauce

Tamari, also known as vegan fish sauce or shoyu, is a darker, thicker, and more umami-rich Japanese soy sauce. It’s prepared with fermented soybeans, koji (a kind of fungus), and brine (moromi).

Tamari, unlike conventional soy sauce, is gluten-free since it does not include wheat. It is also low in sodium. Most people choose tamari instead of soy sauce when substituting shrimp paste since the difference is extremely evident.

Tamari has a lot of umami richness without any fishy taste. This is an excellent alternative for individuals who want the umami-ness of seafood without having to deal with the fishy smell.

Also see: Stewed Tomato Substitutes

7. Dried Shiitake Mushroom

If you can’t locate tamari, you may use dried shiitake mushrooms. Since they contain guanylate, they are an excellent vegetable alternative for seafood (an umami-boosting compound).

The savory flavor of shiitake mushrooms is enhanced when dried; oyster mushrooms may be used in lieu of shiitake.

Add a handful of finely chopped mushrooms to your meal. If you can handle the addition of fish, add a teaspoon of fish sauce to chopped and sautéed mushrooms before adding them to the meal for an amazing effect.

8. Seaweed

If you follow an entirely plant-based diet, you can make a seaweed paste or sauce that tastes something like shrimp paste.

While seaweed is an umbrella word for plants and algae that grow in water, it is also nutritious and high in the amino acid glutamate, which gives it a rich and umami taste.

Several Japanese and Korean broths and soups include seaweed. There are several glutamate-rich seaweeds, including nori and kombu varieties such as ma, rishiri, Hidaka, and naga.

Since seaweeds like wakame and kombu have a reduced glutamate concentration, they are ideal for individuals who wish to reduce the umami taste in their cuisine.

Seaweed may be used fresh or dried and is an excellent vegetarian alternative to shrimp paste. Fresh seaweed is best used in salads, broths, and sauces, as opposed to dried seaweed, which may be used in a number of cuisines.

When you can’t get your hands on the genuine thing, there are a few shrimp paste substitutes you may use, most of which give comparable umami qualities.

Also see: Water Chestnut Substitutes


What can I use in place of shrimp paste?

The 5 Greatest Shrimp Paste Substitutes
Anchovies are number one. What exactly is this? …
2nd – Fish Sauce. Fish sauce is another common shrimp paste alternative.
Miso paste (no. 3). Miso paste is an excellent replacement for shrimp paste if you have a food sensitivity or want to try something new.
4 – Bonito Flakes.
Soy sauce is number five.
Feb 20, 2023

Can anchovy paste be substituted for shrimp paste?

Replace with Shrimp Paste

Substitute 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 1 mashed anchovy fillet for 1 teaspoon shrimp paste. Anchovies have a milder taste and are less pungent.

What can I use instead of belacan shrimp paste?

If you can’t get it, try another shrimp paste, such as gapi or terasi, but bear in mind that its taste, pungency, and saltiness will differ.

Can you use dried shrimp instead of shrimp paste?

Shrimp paste may be used in place of dried shrimp, however it is not advised. The texture of shrimp paste is more concentrated and paste-like. Shrimp paste is also available in Asian markets. You’ll need less shrimp paste than you would dried shrimp.

What is the importance of shrimp paste?

Shrimp paste is low in calories and carbs but high in nutrients. It includes astaxanthin, an antioxidant that enhances skin health by reducing wrinkles and guarding against UV damage. Shrimp includes high levels of selenium, which helps to prevent some forms of cancer.

What is the function of shrimp paste?

It has anti-oxidant action (5), decreases cholesterol and blood pressure, and improves the immunological response and other biological activities in the body (6). As a result, it has a lot of promise as a functional meal. The fermentation cycles of shrimp paste generated utilizing various fermentation processes varies.

Why is anchovy paste being discontinued?

A Pioneer spokeswoman said that the business decided to discontinue production of the fish paste products at the end of last year as part of a “ongoing portfolio assessment.” According to the corporation, customers no longer appear to be interested in minced fish kept in a jar.

Which is better anchovies or anchovy paste?

Several tasters said they couldn’t tell the difference, however others said the paste version had a somewhat grittier texture with a bit more fishy punch and salinity. Overall, canned anchovies prevailed, with a score of 7.6.

What is shrimp paste made of?

It is a purple-brown condiment prepared by fermenting krill (small shrimp-like crustaceans) with salt. The finished combination is dried and processed into a thick and sticky paste similar to almond butter or coarse pâté.

Is sambal the same as shrimp paste?

Sambal is an Indonesian chilli sauce or paste produced from a variety of chilli peppers and other ingredients such as shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, and lime juice.

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