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Umami Unleashed: Top 5 Substitutes for Shrimp Paste

If you’re all about adding that deep, savory flavor to your dishes, shrimp paste is usually the go-to. However, imagine hitting the kitchen to whip up your favorite recipe only to find you’re fresh out.

No sweat! We’ve all been there, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative.

This guide dives into the top five substitutes for shrimp paste that keep your meals delicious and umami-rich without missing a beat.

From vegetarian options to pantry staples, we guarantee these alternatives will save the day and become new favorites in your culinary lineup.

Top 5 Substitutes for Shrimp Paste

1 – Fish Sauce

Can fish sauce replace shrimp paste? Absolutely! It adds that savory kick perfectly. Why go for it? It’s like liquid gold for adding depth without bulk, plus it’s widely available. 

How to use it? Easy. Replace shrimp paste with fish sauce 1-to-1. Need a teaspoon of shrimp paste? Use a teaspoon of fish sauce. Simple. 

In addition, you can also check out this list of fish sauce substitutes for more ways to keep your dishes flavorful.

2 – Anchovy Paste

Ah, anchovy paste—the secret weapon you didn’t know you needed. It shines as a shrimp paste substitute with its rich, savory flavor. Think of it as shrimp paste’s resourceful cousin, perfect in a pinch. It’s also easy to find and affordable.

How to use it? Replace shrimp paste with equal amounts of anchovy paste. So, if your recipe calls for a tablespoon of shrimp paste, use a tablespoon of anchovy paste instead. It merges seamlessly into your dish, enhancing it without a fishy aftertaste.

Looking for alternatives to anchovy paste or just curious? No problem, check out our list of anchovy paste substitutes to keep your kitchen adventures on track.

3 – Miso Paste

Ever tried using miso paste instead of shrimp paste? It’s a game-changer. Miso, made by fermenting soybeans into a rich, savory paste, is perfect for adding that umami flavor without the seafood taste.

Why it’s great? Miso is versatile, adding unique depth to any dish. While not identical to shrimp paste, it’s an excellent alternative for vegetarian options or when you’re in a bind.

How to use it? Easy. Swap miso paste for shrimp paste 1-to-1. If a recipe needs a spoonful of shrimp paste, use a spoonful of miso instead. Since miso is milder, adjust as needed.

Out of miso or want to try something new? Check out our list of miso substitutes that could save your dish in a pinch.

4 – Umeboshi Paste

Next up is umeboshi paste. What’s this, you ask? It’s a paste made from pickled Japanese ume fruits, kind of like plums or apricots.

It’s salty, a bit sour, and brings a unique zing to any dish. Why is it a great sub for shrimp paste? It adds depth and a touch of tanginess without needing seafood.

How do you use it? Sub it in just like shrimp paste. If your recipe says to use a teaspoon of shrimp paste, go with a teaspoon of umeboshi paste instead. It’s that straightforward.

The swap ratio? Yep, it’s 1-to-1. Umeboshi paste can be a bold flavor, so start with what your recipe calls for and adjust if you want more punch.

5 – Tamari Sauce

Rolling with tamari sauce as your shrimp paste sub? Smart move. Tamari is a type of soy sauce but thicker and less salty.

Why does it rock? It brings a smooth, rich flavor to dishes without the seafood hint. It’s perfect for adding that savory kick when you’re out of shrimp paste.

How to swap it? Use tamari in a 1-to-1 exchange. If your dish needs a tablespoon of shrimp paste, use a tablespoon of tamari instead. Tamari blends in easily, making your meal flavorful with zero fuss.

And if someday tamari isn’t on hand or you’re just craving a change, dip into this list of tamari substitutes for other cool options to keep your dishes on point.