Fish Sauce and Shrimp Paste

In recent years, as we have discovered the vibrant flavours of southeast Asia, we have come up against the dilemma of these two critical ingredients. They are ubiquitous in the dishes of places such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It is possible in some stores to buy a soy-based version of vegetarian fish sauce, but we have never found a similar substitute for shrimp paste. However, it is possible to make both at home. Here are our recipes.
 

Fish Sauce

1 jar fermented bean curd
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ground dried seaweed
water

Combine first three ingredients in food processor, and process until smooth. Thin with water until you reach the desired consistency. Fish sauce can vary in thickness, but it is quite liquid. Store in refrigerator. 

Shrimp Paste

1 jar fermented bean curd
1 small can fermented black beans
2 tablespoons ground dried seaweed

Combine ingredients in food processor, and process until smooth. If necessary, you can simmer on low heat to thicken. Store in refrigerator. 

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