Fish Sauce Substitute

We’ve cut out soy and all its derivatives, including soy sauce, so when a reader recently sent me an email asking for something to use in its proxy when preparing an Asian soup dish, he wondered if fish sauce might be a good option.

Yes, there are soy free variations of fish sauce, but they do tend to be quite high in added sodium; some brands also include MSG and sugars as well.

Depending, of course, on what type of recipe you’re preparing, one good option is to use a bit of dried, flaked seaweed.  One thing I will buy in a package is this very food.  Several brands that I’ve had no trouble finding either at Whole Foods or online have nothing in them other than seaweed itself.  Choose from wakame, nori, dulse amongst several others and see which you like best.

Just a little goes a long way; so opt for less than more when you’re first starting to experiment.  They do have natural sea salt and as such, it would be easy to indirectly over salt what you are cooking if you dumped the contents of an entire packet in rather than taking it slowly.

I’ve found this to work quite well in host of different recipes, from soups to stews to stir fry dishes.

Remember also, that once hydrated, the seaweed will expand incrementally; another reason why you may want to proceed in moderation.