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:
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 do you make Vegan Fish Sauce?
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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