Vegan ‘Fish’ Sauce

PREP TIME: 60mins


Fish sauce is a popular Asian condiment that imparts a salty, savoury, ocean (fishy) flavour that can make a great dish taste even better. It’s truly bottled umami!

It’s normally used to add depth of flavour or saltiness to Asian inspired dishes such as ramen, stir fries, marinades, dipping sauces, and more.

So, after some research I wanted to create a vegan friendly sauce that will add the same ‘oomph’ to my dishes.

This two fold recipe is a pantry staple and I highly recommend keeping it on hand for not only Asian-inspired dishes but any dish that would benefit from a kick of umami!

I used kombu seaweed but you can use any that you find. The larger, the easier to fish out form the liquid.

Makes 1 medium jar which you can keep in the cupboard or fridge for up to 6 months.


Seaweed Broth

  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup seaweed, soaked in 1.2 litres of water for 1 hour

Vegan Fish Sauce

  • 500ml seaweed broth, as above
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly bashed
  • 60ml tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider  vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon seaweed


  1. For the seaweed broth: Put the soaked seaweed and the soaking water into a large saucepan. Heat to a medium heat and when the liquid is just about to boil, remove the seaweed. (Don’t boil the water with the seaweed in it, it can leave a bitter after taste). Bring the water to a boil and add the mushrooms and the salt and cook for 1 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the liquid stand for 1 hour then drain. The broth is now ready to use.
  2. For the fish sauce: Place all the ingredients, except the seaweed, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, let the mixture simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, this will take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the seaweed to soak for 5 minutes. Drain (or simply remove the seaweed) and let the liquid cool completely.
  3. Bottle and keep in the fridge or a cupboard for up to 6 months.
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