Korean fish sauce is a popular sauce used to give flavor to many different dishes. With a savory, salty and fishy flavor, it works well in making things like kimchi, pasta sauces or pasta dishes, marinades, dressings, and it can even be used as an addition in many soups and stews.
Fortunately, Korean fish sauce is pretty easy to substitute if need be. Using things like soy sauce, oyster sauce, tamari, liquid aminos, Worcestershire sauce, hoisin sauce, and minced anchovies will help you achieve the same flavor that you would with Korean fish sauce.
Korean Fish Sauce Substitutes
1. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce makes a wonderful substitution for Korean fish sauce because it is practically the same thing.
- For every 1 cup of Korean fish sauce used, use 1 cup of soy sauce
- You can make the 1 cup soy sauce ½ cup soy sauce ½ cup of rice vinegar to create a flavor even closer to fish sauce
2. Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is another really great option you have when needing to replace fish sauce. Oyster sauce has an extremely similar flavor to fish sauce, however oyster sauce is a little bit thicker than fish sauce. This is something to think about when you are cooking and if you need your dish to remain thinner, you can add water to the oyster sauce.
- For every 1 cup of Korean fish sauce, use 1 cup of oyster sauce
- Or combine the oyster sauce with water so the ratios are ¾ oyster sauce and ¼ water to thin the oyster sauce out
Tamari will work fine if it’s all you have. Tamari doesn’t have the same strong fishy flavor, but does have a stronger soy flavor because of its high soybean protein content.
- For every 1 cup of Korean fish sauce, use ¾ of a cup of tamari
4. Liquid Aminos
Liquid aminos are extremely similar to soy sauce. Though, the process of making the two are slightly different and the ingredients in liquid aminos are slightly different as well. Liquid aminos, while they taste very similar to soy sauce, do have lower sodium content and they are a bit more mild in flavor.
- For every 1 cup of Korean fish sauce, use 1 cup of liquid aminos
5. Worcestershire Sauce
Although worcestershire sauce has a much lower sodium content than fish sauce, their fishy flavor is very similar. Worcestershire sauce will work perfectly to replace Korean fish sauce.
- For every 1 cup of Korean fish sauce, use 1 cup of worcestershire sauce
6. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is much sweeter than Korean fish sauce and will give your dish a different flavor if used alone. You can however add hoisin sauce to soy sauce and get a very similar taste to Korean fish sauce.
- For every 1 cup of Korean fish sauce, use ½ cup hoisin sauce and ½ cup of soy sauce
7. Minced Anchovies
Minced anchovies are a very unique way of replacing Korean fish sauce. Anchovies bring a wonderful flavor to many dishes, especially dressings and marinades. Try mixing minced anchovies with rice vinegar to create a fish sauce style flavor!
To wrap things up, there are so many unique and accurate ways to replace Korean fish sauce. Fish sauce alone is a very unique sauce, but there are so many things you can use to get a special flavor to your dish while not losing the fish sauce flavor that you were hoping for.