Homemade Vegan “Fish” Sauce
This homemade “fish” sauce is the perfect vegan alternative to use in plenty of Asian-inspired dishes and to enrich any dish of your choice with a cruelty free sea flavour.
A big Asian food lover like myself couldn’t not share this easy peasy plant based alternative to the Thai fish sauce that lots of Asian dishes call for.
You’ll be amazed on how quickly this fish free sauce comes together, and I’m also going to give you a couple of tricks & tips to store it to have it easily available anytime you need.
What’s Fish Sauce and Where is Used
Fish sauce is a liquid condiment made from fermented fish.
It is used to add depth and umami flavor to Asian dishes in both in cooking and as a table as condiment mainly in noodle soups, curries and side dishes.
What do we need to make Vegan Fish Sauce
The main ingredient for the vegan version of fish sauce is seaweed.
In this recipe I’ve used two different types of seaweeds, for a richer and round flavour: wakame and dulse.
You can find these seaweeds easily in Asian shops or online. However, if you don’t want to purchase both I’d recommend to only use wakame, as deeper in flavour.
Since the authentic fish sauce is made from fermented fish, we are going to add some miso paste (any colour will do, I used white because that’s what I had in the pantry).
Also, fish sauce is quite salty, mainly because prior to fermentation the fish is completely coated in salt. To add a good amount of saltiness we are going to use a few capers along with regulars sea salt*.
Next, to balance the saltiness of the sauce we are also going to add a bit of maple syrup. Sweeteners are often used in the non friendly version for the same reason. Do not worry, your sauce won’t taste sweet because of that. You can substitute the maple syrup with brown sugar or any other syrup or sweetener of your choice.
Lastly let’s talk umami. In the regular fish sauce the umami flavour is given from glutamate. This is one key element that gives the sauce its characteristic taste. To cover this base I decided to use Liquid Aminos, which is basically a blend of fermented soy sauce, MSG and sugar. Liquid aminos, however are not gluten free. If you’re looking for a gluten free alternative you can substitute it with some gluten free tamari and a pinch of monosodium glutamate*.
*If you use monosodium glutamate (MSG) in your kitchen you can use that instead of salt to improve the umami flavour.
How to make Vegan Fish Sauce
Making this vegetarian version cannot be easier.
All we need to do is to add all the ingredients except for the miso paste to a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Heat the sauce for five minutes from when it starts to boil, then turn the heat off and stir in the miso paste.
Allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature, then filter and transfer to a jar, ready to be stored in the fridge.
This sauce will last up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Alternatively if you don’t plan to use it very often of you just want to make a big batch of it, you can pour it in ice cubes containers and store in the freezer for a few months.
One ice cube of sauce is roughly 1 table spoon, that means that every time you need some vegan fish sauce you can defrost as many cubes as you require or even use them straight to the pan to enrich curries, stews, ramens and many other recipes!
Homemade Vegan “Fish” Sauce Recipe
1 1/2 cup Water (Filtered; 350 g)
1 tbsp Wakame Seaweed
1 tbsp Dulse Seaweed
1 tbsp Capers
1/2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tbsp Liquid Aminos
1 tsp Miso Paste
1 tsp Sea Salt
1. Finely chop the capers to a paste-like consistency.
2. Add all the ingredients except for the miso paste to a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
3. Heat the sauce for five minutes from when it starts to boil, then turn the heat off and stir in the miso paste.
4. Allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature.
5. Filter the vegan fish sauce through a cheese cloth and use straight away or transfer to a jar or ice cubes tray (see notes*).
Did you like this recipe? Let me know with a comment in the section below
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Recipes that you can enrich with this vegan fish sauce:
– Vegan Pad Thai with Cashews
– Thai Green Curry with Crispy Sesame Tofu
– Tofu Puffs with Vegan Mushroom Sauce
– Korean Ttkeokbokki with Peppers
– Vegan Chinese Jiaozi
– Sea Flavoured Courgette & Blossom Pasta
– Tofu, Aubergine & Broccoli Miso Bowl
with love, Adriana.
Homemade Vegan "Fish" Sauce
- Finely chop the capers to a paste-like consistency.
- Add all the ingredients except for the miso paste to a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Heat the sauce for five minutes from when it starts to boil, then turn the heat off and stir in the miso paste.
- Allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature.
- Filter the vegan fish sauce through a cheese cloth and use straight away or transfer to a jar or ice cubes tray (see notes*).