Substitute for Anchovy Paste

Anchovy paste is incorporated into various sauces, dressings or dishes to give an intense savoury flavour to the dish. It is also utilized as the main ingredient, like, for example, as an aperitif spread. But, some people might feel that due to the fishy taste of the anchovy paste, they will not be able to consume this particular umami-based paste for reasons of any kind, if you are one of them then you can use Substitute for Anchovy Paste shared below to make your dishes tasty.

Anchovies are prevalent fish that you can purchase in a variety of supermarkets. The fishes are available in various designs and dimensions. You can store the paste in tins containing vinegar or oil; however, they can also be purchased as dried or fermented. 

Utilize Anchovies in a variety of recipes. The fish-flavoured paste and salt have an unmatched, unique flavour. They have a distinctively pungent smell that some people either like or dislike. However, it is not a secret that anchovy paste imparts a distinct flavour that salt cannot replicate.

Anchovy paste is available in tubes, making it an ideal ingredient for dressings, sauces, soups, and more. Some people do not like the smell or appearance of anchovies. This is an excellent method to preserve the flavour without having to touch or see the fish.

anchovy paste

What are the Reasons to Substitute Anchovy Paste?

The necessity of replacing anchovy paste using an equivalent substitute could arise for various reasons, like the inability to tolerate certain fish species or ingredients in the paste, ethical or religious opinions, or just a simple personal preference. you can pair it with ponzu sauce or its alternatives to make it taste better in all kinds of dishes like rice platter, curries, chili recipes, etc.

The process of substituting anchovy paste is simple for anyone who cooks at home or a restaurant chef because a variety of alternatives are available in the market, and most of them are readily available almost everywhere. Some are probably available already in their refrigerator or their kitchen.

if you want to thicken your chili recipe and are non veg and sea food lover then you can add anchovy paste in your dish as it will improve the consistency of chili curry recipe along with flavor profile of the dish.

Alternatives and Substitutes for Anchovy Paste

However, what happens if you don’t have anchovy paste but still need to follow it in a recipe? So, you might require a tiny amount of paste in your dish, and you do not want to spend money purchasing the entire pot. Don’t worry. Here’s a list of the most effective anchovy paste substitutes that let you recreate the flavour.

Shrimp Paste

The most commonly available, Shrimp paste is a fermented and alcoholic condiment primarily in Southeast Asia. It can be used as a substitute for anchovy paste, as it is thinner than anchovy paste. The taste is distinctly saltier and slightly more pungent. This is to counteract the strong flavour of the shrimp paste.

Shrimp paste is yet another fantastic invention from Asian cuisines. It is also available in nearly every Asian market, though it’s not as popular as famous Asian sauces that we are familiar with. Despite its unpleasant scent, the addition of shrimp paste can make a difference to any food item.

It is typically found in curries and sauces and is responsible for making the distinct taste of dishes. As an essentially hard-paste, when in its standard form, it isn’t appropriate for incorporation into things like dressings or sauces unless the intention is to form an uneven texture.

Shrimp paste is an ideal option for anchovy paste below 1/2t since it is a distinct flavour and spice. The taste of this paste could be substantial, so to make shrimp paste less sour and more akin to your meals, you can add margarine or pureed tomatoes to offset the intense flavour.

However, if shrimp taste has enthralled you, ignore the other ingredients and enjoy it the way it is. It is a common ingredient used in Southeast Asian and Southern Chinese dishes. You can use the same ratio to make shrimp paste. Shrimp paste is a spicy flavour, so you should adjust the other ingredients to suit.


Umeboshi Paste

Umeboshi paste is an ideal replacement for Anchovy paste for texture and taste. It also comes in a beautiful pink shade that is more appealing than the dark brown hue from anchovy. The paste is made of picked plums and served as an appetizer or a dipping sauce. However, You can utilize it as a flavouring agent in cooking. Because Umeboshi paste has a distinct salty flavour, it can be a perfect alternative for Anchovy paste. A benefit is that the consistency of both sauces is comparable.

Umeboshi PasteThe anchovies that make up the anchovy paste are quite oily but not as dense and smooth as “paste” may suggest. Because Umeboshi is made of picked fruits, the paste retains lots of water. This is why it can be separated the same way as anchovies, making your dish have the consistency of anchovy sauce.

In essence, however, water is not the same as oil. So, before you use Umeboshi, make sure to take the time to drain all the water. Or otherwise, all the water may get into your food. If you’d like the same texture as anchovy paste, drain all the water and then add oil to compensate for water loss.

Umeboshi paste is an excellent alternative to anchovy paste for flavour and texture. You can utilize it as a food item or a dipping sauce in Japanese food preparation. However, it is also used as a component to add flavour to dishes.

Miso Paste

Miso paste has been an integral part of traditional Japanese food. It has seen a rise in global popularity in recent years, especially within the United States, as this paste is delicious and healthy for soups and other dishes. Miso paste is thick and dense and has a distinctive saltiness. It is made of soybeans, which have a bland flavour. For the production of miso paste, soybeans are fermented.

The flavour of the paste is due to the salt seasoning and Koji, the fungus utilized to sweeten food. The miso fermentation process amplifies both. The paste is thick and has the texture of soybeans and the saltiness that comes from the seasoning and fermentation.

If you’re concerned over the quality of the food or other liquid substitutes, such as soy sauce and fish sauce, are not working or are not suitable, miso is a great substitute. Because miso is the form of a dense paste, it will affect the thickness of your dish, similar to anchovy’s paste.

However, using miso as an alternative implies that your food isn’t going to contain the oil included with the anchovy paste that can impact your meal’s texture to a certain degree. But, you can improve the dense and dry texture in miso with just an amount of oil to make the texture smooth. 

Miso paste was used in traditional Japanese food preparation for quite a long time.

While miso paste is drier and denser, it may be beneficial to add oil to ensure the consistency is balanced. The miso paste can also be excellent for flavour. However, the combination of salt with Koji alters the whole taste. The soybeans give the texture; however, the saltiness and flavour are derived directly from the flavouring.

miso paste image

Fish Sauce

You can get a bottle or container of the fish sauce at every Asian market. The best aspect of this sauce could be that you can find it easily at the nearby supermarket. Fish sauce is a different alternative for substituting anchovies without sacrificing the taste. The Asian specific sauce can be made entirely of anchovy and, occasionally, catfish sauce. The intense flavour can be overwhelming and leave an unpleasant scent. 

Another idea is to incorporate a portion of fish sauce with your meatballs. It can enhance the flavour of your meal and go perfectly in conjunction with tomato sauce. For the best results from this anchovy substitute, you can use it in stews, soups or stock. You can also use it in braise recipes that call for anchovy. The suggested quantity is half a teaspoon of fish sauce for each fillet of anchovy needed.

But, remember that fish sauce cannot be a suitable alternative for Caesar salad. Anchovies are the primary ingredient and can’t be substituted with a sauce. Therefore, fish sauce could make your Caesar salad taste too fishy.

A solid and smelly flavour characterizes the sauce; however, it is delightful, especially in soups, fried rice, fried stews, noodles, and other dishes. If you decide to use it, be aware of the amount you use due to the strong smell. There’s no feeling that there’s an enormous gap in the flavours in your food when you replace it.

If the recipe requires you to use 1 tbsp of the paste made from anchovies, you must use half from the Asian Fish Sauce.

fish sauce image

Soy Sauce

Using soy sauce as an alternative is among the easiest methods to acquire the umami-salty flavour that anchovy paste has. Soy sauce is easier to find as compared to anchovy paste. If you’re struggling to locate anchovy paste, this is an excellent alternative.

Soy sauce has a distinct texture from anchovy paste. Therefore, this is a vital aspect to take into consideration. Depending on the use, it could make a massive difference in the consistency and texture of the dish.

If making marinara, then blend the soy sauce in with cornflour. This can help make the sauce thicker. The recipe won’t likely require sufficient anchovy paste for it to impact thickness. Therefore, try using only just a tiny portion of cornflour or potato flour would also work in small quantities if you have it in your pantry.

Soy sauce is easily accessible and readily available at local grocery stores. You may even have this ingredient in your home. However, it is a liquid with a different texture, which means it can alter the texture of your dish or its consistency.

home made soy sauce image


This could be an interesting new ingredient, but we’ll explain it. Since anchovy paste can be salty, capers are the perfect substitute. They add some texture and fibre and a vegan alternative. Usually, capers are pickled in vinegar or salt, which gives them a flavour like anchovies. If you want to use them in place of anchovy paste, you can use 1/2 cup of capers for each teaspoon of anchovy paste.

Because capers are often utilized in sauces, salads, and fish dishes, you can purchase them in most grocery stores. Be sure to remove a bit of the liquid before using it to avoid the risk that your dish could become too salty or acidic.

Capers are typically used as an ingredient to flavour preserved or picked olives. However, they can be eaten and can add a lot of flavours.

Capers are the flowers from the bush of capers harvested before the flower’s blooms and then utilized in various recipes but are most often used for conserving food items like pickles.

The texture of preserved capers will be similar to the texture made by anchovy paste. The ingredients used to preserve the taste of capers cause them to possess the same salty and umami flavour as anchovy paste.


Chopped Kalamata Olives

The chopped kalamata olives are another vegan-friendly option. It doesn’t contain the same salty flavour, but it’s sweet and fruity. Using this spice is a great option to add texture to the recipe and add colour. The olives are available at any supermarket and usually have a red wine vinegar color.

When making the recipe you can use one teaspoon of paste in place of anchovy paste. Additionally, you can incorporate them into salads and dressings since they work well with fresh and healthy ingredients and vegetables. chopped olives can be stuffed in jalapenos with cheese and spices to roast and enjoy and enjoy a hot and spicy snack or side dish with your buddies in lunch time of evening with a glass of mojito.

Chopped Kalamata Olives

Frequently Asked Questions

Does anchovy paste work for you?

Anchovies are high in omega-3 fats that provide full advantages for the heart. Research suggests that they can lower the number of triglycerides in your blood, slow plaque formation in your arteries and decrease blood pressure.

Does anchovy paste require to be chilled?

The shelf life of their refrigerated products is approximately one year. If you don’t plan to eat the anchovies or paste within a short time after the purchase, it is advisable to store their contents in the fridge.

What can be substituted for Anchovies that are to make Caesar dressing?

There are many variations of the traditional Caesar dressing; however, most recipes will contain anchovies because it imparts a distinct taste to the sauce that many people enjoy. you can use tamari sauce with it as the combination makes the dish overall taste good

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