7 Best Dried Shrimp Substitute

Dried shrimp have a distinct flavor, and the health advantages they provide are the icing on the cake, which is why experts advocate eating them daily. Dried shrimp have been linked to several health advantages. They are low in calories and contain zero fat. What if you don’t have any dried shrimp on hand for your meal? What is the best dried shrimp substitute?


To replicate the seafood taste of dried shrimp, use shrimp paste, dried anchovies, or fish sauce. Vegan substitutes such as fried garlic or fresh shiitake mushrooms may mimic dried shrimp’s sweet, salty, umami taste.

Dried Shrimp Substitute

7 Best Dried Shrimp Substitute 

1. Shrimp Paste

It might be inconvenient to be unable to get a crucial component for your cuisine. However, there are generally several replacements that give a comparable flavor. Most people advocate using shrimp paste while cooking dried shrimp. Shrimp paste is the best dried shrimp substitute.


For those unaware, shrimp paste is a fermented product comprised of fermented shrimps and salt. Shrimp paste, often known as prawn sauce, is a popular replacement for dried shrimp all around the globe.


It is crucial to note, however, that utilizing shrimp paste will not provide the same flavor as dried shrimp. Of course, the flavor may alter somewhat, but it will work in most recipes. Furthermore, you’d have to test the paste yourself to determine the amount.


You may adjust the flavor by adding shrimp paste to taste. It is often seasoned with salt to improve the flavor of shrimp paste. Although several companies produce shrimp paste throughout Asia, it is not extensively consumed in other regions.


If this is the case, try using alternatives or producing your own shrimp paste. If you have the necessary components, creating shrimp paste at home is a piece of cake. To create shrimp paste at home, combine fermented shrimp with salt in a basin.


The quantity of salt should ideally be one-third of the amount of fermented shrimp. Now, combine the garlic, tomato, onion, and oil in another bowl. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat. When the color of the onion changes, it signifies that it has been properly cooked.

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So, as soon as the fermented shrimps get brown, add them to the dish. Cook over low heat for more than 40 minutes, adding vinegar and sugar as needed. Keep stirring it every now and then. After 40 to 50 minutes, you’ll see that the hue has changed.


That means your shrimp paste is ready! You may use it immediately in a recipe or store it in the refrigerator for later use. When refrigerated, it keeps its flavor for over a year. However, you may notice a hue shift over time.

2. Shiitake Mushrooms

It might be difficult to locate adequate substitutes for products like dried shrimp if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Dried shrimp adds an excellent taste to Asian cuisine, but it is possible to recreate it with an unexpected alternative – shiitake mushrooms!


So, fresh shiitake mushrooms might be the solution if you’re looking for a meat-free alternative to a dish. Fresh mushrooms are preferable to dried mushrooms since they have a stronger scent and taste that will overshadow the meal.


Shiitake mushrooms have a strong umami taste, but you may need to season your meal with more salt and sugar. Use around five shiitake mushrooms for every tablespoon of dried shrimp called for in your dish.

3. Fish Sauce

Another well-known dried shrimp substitute is fish sauce. It is also known as “nam pla” and has a pungent taste. This is why some people avoid using it in their cooking. If you use too much fish sauce in your recipe, the strong taste will spoil your food.


Thai cuisine, in particular, uses the fish sauce to enhance dishes. When used in the proper proportions, you could not even detect the difference between dried shrimp and fish sauce in a dish.


So, to guarantee that your food tastes wonderful, use a little amount of fish sauce. Like all of the other replacements on our list, fish sauce is widely accessible and simple to create at home. If you wish to produce your fish sauce, follow these steps:


Wide varieties of fish may be used to make fish sauce, but anchovies are the best. To acquire it in quantity, go to your local grocery shop. You’ll find it there easily. Any little fish covered with salt will suffice if it is unavailable.


It’s worth noting that most manufacturers clean the fish before packaging them. If it isn’t, you may need to wash them. Please read the directions on the back of the package to see whether it has been cleaned.

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After thoroughly washing it, add half the quantity of kosher salt to the fish. For example, if you have 5 pounds of fish, add 2.5 pounds of kosher salt. If you don’t like salty meals, reduce the quantity. Mix everything with your hands or a spatula.


Place the fish in a container now. When it’s halfway full with fish, add a few pineapple pieces to give it a sweet flavor. After that, add the remainder of the fish and cover it with a heavy coating of salt to keep it from stinking. It may be kept at room temperature for up to a year. To extend the life of your fish sauce, keep it closed with a tight-fitting lid when not in use.

4. Soy sauce 

Soy sauce is another dried shrimp substitute on our list. If none of the other alternatives are accessible, the good news is that it is widely available around the globe. However, it is preferable to go with a well-known brand. This guarantees that your sauce has superb flavor and quality.


While soy sauce may be used in place of fish sauce or dried shrimp, it is preferable due to its lighter taste. You may also blend it with other spices to improve the flavor. The proportion of soy sauce to dried shrimps is entirely up to you.


If you want more tastes, try adding a little more. It has a strong flavor. Therefore we suggest using a smaller quantity in your dish. As previously said, replacements may not taste the same as dried shrimp.


They are, however, your final resort if dried shrimp are unavailable. Soy sauce may be added to the gravy and used to produce various sauces. Soy sauce has a shelf life of up to six months when stored at room temperature.

5. Katsuobushi

Katsuobushi is also another great dried shrimp substitute. Katsuobushi is a common ingredient in Japanese cookery that may be used effectively in place of dried shrimp. If you’ve never heard of it, katsuobushi is prepared from fermented, smoked, and dried tuna. It is then broken into fine flakes that are used as a spice in meals. In terms of quantity, katsuobushi may be used to replace dried shrimp on an equal basis. It has a strong umami taste but isn’t as salty or sweet. 

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6. Dried Anchovies

When you desire the texture and taste of dried shrimp, dried anchovies are a fantastic replacement. Anchovies have a strong fishy taste and a soft but chewy texture when dried. They may be eaten whole or cut into smaller pieces. Dried anchovies may be pulverized and used in sauces and dips.

7. Kelp Stock

Dashi, soup stock, and the fundamentals of Japanese cooking. Kelp stock is sometimes disregarded when preparing fish meals, but it may be an excellent method to add marine flavor to vegan or vegetarian foods. Kelp stock, which is made by soaking dried kelp, has a full-bodied taste with a touch of sweetness and saltiness.


You may purchase pre-made kelp stock, but you can also create it yourself using dried kelp. Although the taste profile of kelp stock is comparable to that of dried shrimp, the texture is rather watery, so you may need to lower the quantity of other liquid components used to compensate.

How Are Dried Shrimp Used?

Dried shrimp are quite popular in many Asian cuisines, adding a distinct seafood-like umami taste to dishes. They may be utilized in a variety of ways depending on the needs of the dish. When used as a seasoning, dried shrimp are commonly soaked in liquid before being added to the meal, along with the soaking liquid.


Shrimp are used whole or cut before adding to other cuisines when the texture of the shrimp is desired. Pad Thai is traditionally hammered with a mallet to soften the texture. Dried shrimp are often used in Chinese stir-fries and soups, salads, and dumplings. Dried shrimps are crushed and used as a flavor in Malaysian dishes such as sambal. After being diced and fried, dried shrimp are used as a crunchy topping in Vietnam.

Conclusion On Dried Shrimp Substitute

When it comes to finding a dried shrimp substitute, there are many possibilities available, and the best one relies largely on why you’re seeking a replacement in the first place. Shrimp Paste, Shiitake Mushrooms, Fish Sauce, and Soy sauce are great dried shrimp substitutes you could try out.

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