Fish sauce is one of the key ingredients in a lot of Asian cuisines, which makes it hard for people like myself that are plant-based (or vegetarian) to enjoy the delicious flavors of Asian cuisine. The good news is, I have a solution for you to be able to make a vegan-inspired fish sauce substitute right at home.
Why you’ll love this vegan fish sauce substitute:
Quick: This sauce will only take 5-minutes to make
Long-lasting: You can store this sauce in your fridge for up to a month
Flavorful: Fish sauce adds a lot of flavor to Asian food, this vegetarian fish sauce does not fall short
Versatile: Throw it in recipes, use it on its own, make it into dips, you do you!
Dulse or Wakame: The seaweed is what will give you that “fish” taste you want in a vegan fish sauce substitute. Wakame is high-protein, high in calcium, and has iron and vitamin C in it. Dulse, another kind of seaweed, is a red sea plant and is also rich in iron as well as protein, and vitamin A. That’s right, this fish sauce substitute is nutrient-rich!
White Miso: Rich in essential minerals and a good source of B, E, and K vitamins, plus folic acid. Miso is seriously magical. It also adds a ton of flavor, and as a fermented food, it is great for your gut!
Coconut Aminos: Coconut aminos is the plant-based version of soy sauce, and it’s healthier too! It’s similar in color and consistency so it makes a great soy sauce swap as it also has that salty and savory taste to it.
How to make a vegan fish sauce substitute:
My alternative and secret weapon? Seaweed!! The powerful seaweed mixed with the nutty/earthy flavor of wild dehydrated mushrooms really add the flavor that you may get in non-vegan alternatives that are often in Vietnamese or other Asian dishes. Here’s how you make this vegan fish sauce:
1. To a medium-sized saucepan, add the water, seaweed of choice, dried shiitake mushrooms, and sea salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes will lid off.
Remove the mixture from heat. Pour it through a strainer (fine-mesh) into a bowl. Be sure to lightly press on the mushrooms and dulse with a spoon to get all that flavorful liquid.
2. To this bowl, miso and coconut aminos. Taste test and add ingredients as needed.
Expert Tips & FAQ:
Storage: Store in a sealed jar container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Make sure you give it a good shake before using it. What I like to do is make a batch of Vegan Fish Sauce and keep it in a sealed container in my fridge. I use it on dishes like salads or bowls I make.
Salt: Adding more salt will make it saltier. Miso will add umami. Coconut aminos will add a full-bodied flavor.
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