Many of you have asked for a good substitute for fish sauce. Here’s a simple recipe for Vegan Fish Sauce – that you can easily make at home. It is so easy! Make a batch and refrigerate – it will keep for months in your fridge – a meat-free, plant-based, non-fishy substitute for fish sauce that works well in all Asian style recipes that call for fish sauce!
After sampling sips of straight fish sauce (now you know how much love you!) this is the recipe that I came up with.
It’s basically a very condensed broth infused with soy sauce -shoyu, tamari or gluten-free Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, dried shiitake mushrooms, seaweed and a few garlic cloves. The broth is simmered and reduced, and flavors become very concentrated. What remains is a very intense salty briny liquid that with deep umami flavor that to me, comes pretty close to fish sauce. The seaweed really hints of the sea and gives it the “fishiness” it needs without the fish!
Smoked Shoyu adds even more complexity if you can track it down. Grilled onions, black garlic or roasted garlic add even more depth. You can get pretty crafty when you start thinking about creating depth and umami, so please, feel free to experiment and play around.
Here is the simple recipe and of course feel free to embellish, leaving notes for other readers in the comments.
I prefer dried shiitake mushrooms in this recipe for Vegan Fish Sauce– but know they may be hard to track down for some. I also tried this with cremini mushrooms and they were a pretty good substitute. I like the dired shiitakes here better though.
Hope this helps. xo
Vegan Fish sauce
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: sauces, condiments,
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Asian
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup soy sauce– shoyu, tamari, or Braggs liquid amino acids
- 1/2 cup dried mushrooms like shiitakes
- 1 4 x 8 inch sheet of dried kombu ( seaweed) or wakame seaweed
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 ½ tablespoons salt
- optional additions- 1 fat shallot sliced, grilled (charred) onion, roasted garlic, black garlic, small splash rice wine, sherry, or rice vinegar. Smoked Shoyu if you can find it, is a great option for the soy sauce.
Bring all to a simmer in a medium pot, uncovered, over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by half. You should have about 2 cups of liquid.
If you have time, let this steep over night, or up to 24 hours, covered on the counter. Then strain and pour into jar. If liquid is less that 2 cups, add water to make it 2 cups. This will ensure the right amount of saltiness.
Store in the fridge and use as you would fish sauce, one to one.
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