Do you love the salty, umami flavor of anchovy paste?
Well, you’re not alone!
Anchovy paste has been used for centuries in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
It adds a unique depth of flavor to dishes like pizza and pasta sauces.
Unfortunately, anchovy paste can be hard to find or too expensive for some budgets.
But don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes that will give your dishes the same savory kick without breaking the bank.
In this article, I’ll share my top 11 picks for the best substitutes for anchovy paste.
So keep reading if you want to learn more about how to get that delicious taste without using anchovies!
What is Anchovy Paste?
Anchovy paste is a condiment made from anchovies, oil, and salt.
It is usually sold in tubes or jars and can be used as an ingredient in sauces, dressings, marinades, and other dishes.
Anchovy paste has a strong flavor that some people find too intense to eat on its own; however, it adds depth of flavor when added to recipes.
Anchovies are small fish that have been salted and cured for preservation.
They are then mashed into a paste with the addition of oil (usually olive oil) and salt.
The resulting product is a thick paste with a salty-umami flavor profile that can be used as an ingredient in many dishes.
Anchovy paste can also be used as a spread on toast or crackers or mixed into mayonnaise for sandwiches or salads.
When using anchovy paste in cooking, it’s important to remember that it has quite an intense flavor so you don’t need to use much of it – just one teaspoon should do the trick!
If you’re not sure how much to use start off by adding less than what the recipe calls for and add more if needed after tasting your dish.
The 11 Best Substitutes For Anchovy Paste
Anchovy paste is a great way to add depth and flavor to your dishes.
But if you can’t find it, here are eleven substitutes that will provide a similar effect:
1 – Anchovy Fillets
Anchovy fillets are strips of salted anchovies, which can be purchased either canned or in jars.
Anchovy fillets can be used instead of anchovy paste to add a salty, savory flavor to foods.
To use anchovy fillets instead of anchovy paste, finely mince the fillets and stir them into sauces, dressings, and marinades.
The fillets can also be used to top pizza, stir-fries, and salads.
2 – Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment made from fermented fish that is commonly used as a seasoning in Southeast Asian cuisine.
It is made by salting and fermenting fish or krill and is typically used as a condiment or flavoring ingredient.
It is commonly used to add flavor and aroma to dishes, most often in the form of a dipping sauce.
To use fish sauce instead of anchovy paste, simply add a few drops of fish sauce to a dish when you would normally add anchovy paste.
The fish sauce will provide a similar salty and umami flavor to the dish.
3 – Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment that is made from a combination of anchovy, tamarind, molasses, garlic, onion, and other spices.
It is often used to add flavor to dishes such as steak, hamburgers, chili, and soups.
It can be used in place of anchovy paste to add a unique flavor to a dish.
For example, it can be used in sauces, dressings, marinades, and stews.
4 – Capers
Capers are small, pickled flower buds from the caper bush.
They have a slightly tart and salty flavor, and are often used to add flavor and texture to dishes.
To use capers instead of anchovy paste, you would add them to your dish at the same point in the cooking process as when you would add anchovy paste.
For example, if you are making a pasta sauce, you would add the capers along with the other ingredients in the sauce.
The amount of capers you use can be adjusted to taste, but usually a tablespoon or two of capers is enough to provide a good flavor.
For a stronger flavor, you can also mince the capers before adding them to the dish.
5 – Chopped Kalamata Olives
Kalamata olives are a type of olive that is grown in the Kalamata region of Greece. They are typically dark purple in color, have a strong, briny flavor, and are wrinkled in texture.
They are commonly used as a garnish for salads and pizzas, and as a topping for pasta dishes.
To use chopped Kalamata olives instead of anchovy paste, you can add them to sauces, salads, and pasta dishes.
For example, you can make a pesto sauce by blending together chopped Kalamata olives, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.
You can also use them as a topping for salads, pizzas, and other dishes.
Additionally, you can add them to pasta sauces for a salty, briny flavor.
Finally, you can finely chop the olives and use them as a substitute for anchovy paste when making Caesar salad dressings or other sauces.
6 – Miso paste
Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that is a staple of Japanese and other East Asian cuisines.
It is a thick, salty paste with a strong, savory flavor that is used in marinades, dressings, soups, and sauces. It is also used as a topping for noodles and other dishes.
Miso paste can be used as an alternative to anchovy paste in many recipes. It can be used to add a slightly sweet and salty flavor to dishes, as well as a creamy texture.
It is best to start with a small amount and add more to taste.
To use miso paste instead of anchovy paste, mix a small amount of miso paste with a little warm water to create a paste-like consistency.
Then, add the miso paste to the recipe in place of the anchovy paste. You may also want to add a bit of soy sauce or other seasonings for additional flavor.
7 – Marmite / vegemite
Marmite is a thick, dark brown food spread made from yeast extract. It has a strong, salty, and somewhat bitter flavor and is popular in many countries, especially the United Kingdom.
Marmite is typically spread on toast, crackers, or other breads.
Marmite can be used as a substitute for anchovy paste in a variety of dishes.
For example, it can be used as a spread in place of anchovy paste on sandwiches, added to soups and stews as a flavoring, used as a base in sauces, or stirred into scrambled eggs.
Marmite can also be used as a flavor enhancer in salad dressings, sauces, and marinades.
When using Marmite, it is important to remember that Marmite is much stronger in flavor.
Therefore, you should start with a small amount and adjust the amount to taste.
8 – Shrimp paste
Shrimp paste is a condiment made from fermented ground shrimp or krill mixed with salt.
It is used in Southeast Asian cooking and has a strong, salty, and slightly fishy flavor.
It is most commonly used as a condiment, as a base for sauces, or as an ingredient in curries and other dishes.
To use shrimp paste instead of anchovy paste, you can simply substitute the same amount of shrimp paste for the anchovy paste in a recipe.
Shrimp paste is often used as a seasoning in Asian-style dishes, such as curries and stir-fries.
You can also use it to add flavor to soups, stews, and marinades. A little goes a long way with shrimp paste, so start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
Keep in mind that shrimp paste has a strong, salty flavor, so it may be best to use it in combination with other seasonings to balance out the flavors.
9 – Olives
Olives are a type of fruit that comes from the olive tree.
They have a salty, savory flavor and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Olives are typically eaten as a snack, added to salads, used as a garnish, or used to flavor sauces and other dishes.
In place of anchovy paste, olives can be used to add a salty, savory flavor to dishes.
They can be finely chopped and used in sauces, added to salads, or used as a garnish on top of dishes.
Olives can also be used to create tapenades, which are a type of spread made with olives, capers, herbs, and other ingredients.
Tapenades can be spread on bread, crackers, or used as a dip. Olives can also be used to make olive oil, which can be used as a cooking oil or as a finishing oil for salads and other dishes.
10 – Mushroom paste
Mushroom paste is a condiment made from mushrooms that has been cooked, puréed and seasoned.
It is a flavorful, savory ingredient commonly used in Asian and Italian cooking.
Mushroom paste can be used as a replacement for anchovy paste in recipes.
To use, add the same amount of mushroom paste as you would anchovy paste.
For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste, you would use 1 tablespoon of mushroom paste instead.
Mushroom paste can be used in a variety of dishes, from sauces and soups to marinades and dressings.
It can also be added to pasta dishes, pizza, and even sandwiches for an extra boost of umami flavor.
Additionally, mushroom paste can be used as a spread on toasted bread or crackers.
If you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian alternative to anchovy paste, mushroom paste is a great choice. It has a strong, savory taste and can easily be used as a replacement for anchovy paste.
11 – Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a popular condiment made from fermented soybeans and wheat. It is used in many Asian cuisines and is known for its salty, umami flavor.
Soy sauce can be used as an alternative to anchovy paste in many dishes. To substitute one tablespoon of anchovy paste, use two tablespoons of soy sauce.
The flavor will be slightly different, but the umami flavor of the soy sauce will still give the dish a savory depth.
When substituting soy sauce for anchovy paste, it is important to remember that the sodium content of the soy sauce is much higher than the anchovy paste, so it is important to adjust the other ingredients to compensate for this.
For example, if the recipe calls for one tablespoon of anchovy paste, use two tablespoons of soy sauce but also reduce the amount of salt or other salty ingredients in the recipe.
This will help to keep the sodium content of the dish in balance.
What can I substitute for anchovy paste in caesar dressing?
If you don’t have anchovy paste, you can substitute with a combination of Worcestershire sauce and garlic.
Start by combining 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic in a small bowl and mixing it together.
Then add the mixture to the caesar dressing recipe in place of the anchovy paste.
This substitution will give the dressing a similar flavor profile, but it won’t be quite as salty or intense as it would with the anchovy paste.
Can I use Worcestershire sauce instead of anchovies?
Yes, Worcestershire sauce can be used as a substitute for anchovies when cooking. It has a very similar flavor profile to anchovies and can be used as a substitute in many recipes.
Worcestershire sauce is made from a base of vinegar, molasses, anchovies, onions, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, and other spices.
It has a very strong, salty, and slightly sweet flavor, which makes it a great replacement for anchovies.
However, it should be noted that Worcestershire sauce does contain anchovies, so it may not be suitable for vegetarians or people with fish allergies.
Additionally, the flavor of Worcestershire sauce is not quite as intense as that of anchovies, so it may require more of the sauce to achieve the same flavor profile as anchovies.
Can I make my own anchovy paste?
Yes, you can make your own anchovy paste. Here are the steps:
- Begin by draining and rinsing a can of anchovies in cold water.
- Using a mortar and pestle, mash the anchovies until they form a paste.
- If a smoother consistency is desired, you can use a food processor or blender to further puree the anchovies.
- Depending on the recipe you are using, you may want to add other ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, herbs, or lemon juice to the mixture.
- Once you have reached the desired consistency and taste, transfer the anchovy paste to a clean glass jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
How do you replicate anchovy flavor?
To replicate the flavor of anchovies, you can start by combining a few ingredients to create a paste that can be used as a seasoning.
Start by combining a few anchovy fillets (either canned or fresh) with some olive oil, garlic, capers, and lemon juice in a food processor.
Pulse until the ingredients are completely blended together and the mixture becomes a paste.
This anchovy paste can be used to season sauces, dressings, or dips.
You can also sprinkle anchovy flakes, which are made with dried anchovies, over salads, pizzas, and other dishes for a more intense anchovy flavor.
Anchovy paste and flakes are available in most grocery stores.
In conclusion, anchovy paste is a popular condiment used in many dishes to add a salty, umami flavor.
However, if you don’t have any anchovy paste on hand, there are several other ingredients that can be used as a good substitute.
The best substitutes for anchovy paste are anchovy fillets, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, capers, chopped Kalamata olives, miso paste, Marmite or Vegemite, shrimp paste, olives, mushroom paste, and soy sauce.
Each of these ingredients has its own unique flavor profile, and can be used to provide a depth of flavor to any dish.
Using one or more of these ingredients as a substitute for anchovy paste can be a great way to add delicious flavor to your dishes without having to buy anchovy paste.
The 11 Best Substitutes For Anchovy Paste
- Anchovy Fillets
- Fish Sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Chopped Kalamata Olives
- Miso paste
- Shrimp paste
- Mushroom paste
- Soy sauce
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.