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The 5 Best Substitutes for Anchovy Paste

Anchovy paste is not everyone’s go-to ingredient in a lot of dishes.

But what many people don’t realize is that this ingredient can bring any dish to the restaurant level with its deep flavor.

Anchovy Paste is widely used in cuisines of Vietnam, Great Britain, the Philippines, and Italy.

What are the best substitutes for anchovy paste? They consist of Umeboshi Paste, Miso Paste, Asian Fish Sauce, Anchovy Fillets, and Capers.

What Is Anchovy Paste?

what is anchovy paste

Anchovy Paste consists of a fish paste that is made using anchovies.

Many people use it as a condiment and also as a primary ingredient in an array of dishes like Scotch Woodcock and more.

Many people have been using it for centuries to offer flavorings to meals and also for its nutrients.

The basic ingredients that go into the preparation of this paste include water, mashed anchovies, spices, and vinegar.

Anchovy Paste isn’t going to make your dish smell fishy, nor is it going to give you a bad breath.

Countries such as Morocco tend to export this product a lot.

5 Best Substitutes for Anchovy Paste

best substitutes for anchovy paste

Now let us take a look at some of the available alternatives for your anchovy paste:

1 – Umeboshi Paste

umeboshi paste

This delicious Japanese condiment is a great substitute for your anchovy paste.

Umeboshi features a pink color and has flavor and texture that’s similar to anchovy paste.

Here, pickled plums are used for making this paste, and it also has a rich source of calcium and iron, including effective antioxidant properties.

Most folks traditionally use it like a side dish for accompanying their rice.

Umeboshi Paste also possesses a tough aroma and an acidic and salty taste.

Just make sure to drain away all the water from your Umeboshi when you are about to use it.

Substitute Ratio – You can use ½ of the Umeboshi Paste for the Anchovy Paste required in the recipe.

2 – Anchovy Fillets

anchovy fillets

Another great substitute would be using some Anchovy Fillets in place of the paste.

With the fillets, the fish hasn’t undergone any curing, so you can expect the flavoring to be a little different.

Also, both oil and salt are added during the canning process, making them very salty.

Since you are using the anchovy fillets in the dish, you should remember to make adjustments with the liquid and salt.

You won’t have any trouble finding them at your local supermarket.

Substitute Ratio – A single anchovy fillet will equal about ½ a tsp of your anchovy paste.

3 – Capers


It refers to green buds that come from the caper bush and look like peas.

Capers are usually used as a flavoring for pickling or preserving olives.

Capers tend to come in cans with vinegar and salt added to them, making them a great candidate for replacing anchovy paste.

The texture and fiber content of the capers are quite impressive.

You can easily find them in grocery stores because of how often they are used in fish cuisines, salads, and sauces.

However, you should always get rid of the liquid before you use it as it will become too acidic or salty.

Substitute Ratio – If your recipe requires you to use 1 tsp of anchovy paste, then you need to add ½ tsp of capers.

4 – Asian Fish Sauce

asian fish sauce

This sauce possesses a pungent and smelly taste; however, the taste is really delicious, especially in soups, fried rice, stews, and noodles.

But this replacement should be used in meat and other sauces instead of salads.

The only exception would be in Caesar’s Salad.

When you use it, be cautious of the amount because of its strong aroma.

You won’t feel like there’s a big gap of flavors in your dish whenever you substitute it.

One great thing about this sauce would be the fact that you can easily find it at a nearby grocery shop.

Substitute Ratio – If your recipe needs you to add 1 tsp of the anchovy paste, then you should use ½ of the Asian Fish Sauce.

5 – Miso Paste

miso paste

Last but not least, you can make use of Miso Paste to replace your anchovies.

This paste has been used heavily in Japanese cuisines for a long time, and it’s also starting to branch out to more Western countries.

The Miso Paste is quite salty and dense.

Its strong flavoring comes from Koji and salt seasoning.

Here, Koji consists of a fungus that’s used for saccharifying dishes.

This procedure ferments meals like rice and causes it to be alcoholic.

If you want the consistency of your meal to be perfect, then you should use this thick paste.

You have to realize that anchovy paste tends to be oily and thick, but Miso, on the other hand, is dense and dry.

So, proceed to put some oil for balancing out its consistency.

Substitute Ratio – You can use the exact ratio as the anchovy paste.


You can expect many minerals and vitamins that offer an array of health benefits with anchovy paste.

Anchovies have a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids that helps promote heart and brain health too.

The paste pairs well with many dishes, but the alternatives will also perform just as well.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anchovy Paste

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anchovy Paste
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Umeboshi Paste
  • Anchovy Fillets
  • Capers
  • Asian Fish Sauce
  • Miso Paste


  1. Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  2. Organize all of your ingredients.
  3. Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.

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