How to make vegan fish sauce

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How to make vegan fish sauce

If you’re a fan of Thai and southeast Asian food, you know that fish sauce is a key ingredient to many dishes, giving them their unique flavor. Fish sauce, also called nuoc mam or nam pla, is made from fermented fish and salt. I thought it would be interesting to try to come up with a vegan alternative, so here is how to make vegan fish sauce.

My pal Marie from Meandering Eats suggested that the key taste to capture was umami, the savory taste found in soy-based foods.

I took seaweed, soaked it, added miso for the salty umami flavor, and blended it. It has a briny taste that is a pretty reasonable substitute for fish sauce. Note that the final product is not particularly appetizing in color, so you might want to keep this a secret ingredient in your recipes.

Suitable for:

vegan, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:

low-sodium or migraine diets

How to make vegan fish sauce
How to make vegan fish sauce
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Servings Prep Time
16 servings of 1 tbsp 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings of 1 tbsp 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
How to make vegan fish sauce
How to make vegan fish sauce
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
16 servings of 1 tbsp 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings of 1 tbsp 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings of 1 tbsp
Units:
Instructions
  1. Soak the seaweed in the water for 30 minutes. Add the miso and put in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer, saving the liquid (toss or compost what is caught by the strainer), and store in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

Per serving:

  • 5 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 0 g saturated fat
  • 0 g monounsaturated fat
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 93 mg sodium
  • 0 mg potassium
  • 0 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 0 g sugars
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 Weight Watchers Points Plus
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Comments

  1. Jessica says

    Ok, this is probably a really dumb question, but I’m just wondering… when you pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, which part do you keep – the liquid or what’s left in the strainer?

  2. says

    This looks terrific! I’ve been wanting to get some fish sauce for my pantry, but when I see how much sodium is in it, I just can’t do it — so this looks like a great way to go for sodium reasons as well.

    The “best” store-bought one I’ve found has about 700mg of sodium per ONE tablespoon. The worst? 1,350mg of sodium per tablespoon. I don’t know how they actually get that much sodium to stay in solution!

    Any idea on the sodium content of the miso paste?

    • says

      Thanks Andrew. For you, I got out my calculator. Miso is very salty, but it’s also really concentrated. For this recipe, using the miso paste I have, it comes out to 128 mg of sodium per tablespoon. Not bad in comparison.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Fish Sauce is not a soy sauce, but it seems to fit in with this post. Fish sauce is available gluten-free, and that’s good news for lovers of Thai and Vietnamese food. I have to admit, although I love the taste of dishes made with fish sauce, I haven’t quite gotten over the smell to use it in my own kitchen. Check the labels, some brands, not all, are gluten-free. A Taste of Thai gluten-free fish sauce can even be found in regular grocery stores. Here’s an interesting recipe for vegan fish sauce from The Recipe Renovator blog. […]

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