Fish sauce is a condiment used in many Asian dishes. While it has a distinct pungent smell, you can’t deny that it adds a unique flavor to any dish.
This seasoning is especially popular in Asian countries, but it is slowly being recognized in other parts of the world. In some instances, it’s also used as a dipping sauce, and that can turn any boring boiled or fried food into a mouthwatering dish.
With that said, there’s no denying that fish sauce can instantly make a dish more flavorful. But if you have recently switched to veganism, you might be asking: is fish sauce vegan?
We’re here to help you find out.
How is Fish Sauce Produced?
To give you a solid answer to that question, you have to get a deeper understanding of how fish sauce is produced.
As its name suggests, fish sauce is made of fermented fish that’s been left for at least three months to a few years. The longer the process, the more distinct the salty flavor becomes, although it also depends on the type of fish used. This long fermentation process explains its pungent and fishy aroma.
> Read more: Do vegans eat fish?
The liquid produced from the fermentation process is now known as fish sauce.
In some cases, fish sauce can also be made from fermented krill. While krill isn’t exactly considered a fish, it delivers the same salty taste and unique aroma – so it doesn’t affect the quality of the condiment at all.
Is Fish Sauce Vegan?
From the brief discussion on how fish sauce is made, it’s pretty explanatory that fish sauce is not vegan.
It is derived from fermenting fish or krill in a large amount of salt, and the resulting liquid becomes the fish sauce. Thus, it is not recommended for vegan consumers.
What is Vegan Fish Sauce?
But there’s good news for vegans who love the unique salty flavor of fish sauce. Food connoisseurs have successfully replicated the flavor using plant-based ingredients and dubbed it the Vegan Fish Sauce.
So what is vegan fish sauce, exactly?
It is a condiment that’s made from seaweed, mushrooms, soy sauce, miso, and sea salt. When combined, these flavors are undeniably salty, while the seaweed helps add that fishy undertone.
How to Make Vegan Fish Sauce
If you’re curious as to what vegan fish sauce tastes like, we have got you covered. Here, we will teach you how to make vegan fish sauce, so you can enjoy the condiment anytime from your home.
For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Sea salt
- Soy miso
- Soy sauce
- Dried shiitake mushrooms
All of these ingredients are easy to find, so you won’t have a hard time preparing them. Once gathered, we can now proceed to the steps you have to take to make the vegan fish sauce.
- We start by boiling the seaweed, sea salt, and shiitake mushrooms in water. Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat and allow it to simmer for around 20 minutes.
- After you’re done simmering, turn the heat off and allow it to cool for a minute or so. Then, grab a strainer and pour out the liquid into a bowl.
As you do so, make sure that the strainer has a fine mesh to prevent any debris from joining the liquid.
- After straining, you can press on the mushrooms and seaweed to extract any excess liquid.
- Now, set the strainer aside and add the soy miso and soy sauce to the bowl. Mix everything thoroughly and add in more if you think it’s necessary. You can also add more sea salt if that suits your taste better. Continue adding salt, miso, and soy sauce until you reach your desired flavor.
And that’s it – you now know how to make a vegan fish sauce alternative. As long as you keep it refrigerated, it can last for as long as a month or so. That is if you don’t consume it before the month ends.
While fish sauce isn’t vegan, it’s good to know that there are enterprising individuals who are willing to create alternatives. This way, you’ll never feel the need for animal-derived food items and condiments.
Fortunately, making your own vegan fish sauce is sustainable and easy to do. As long as you follow the instructions properly, you’ll have enough dipping sauce or seasoning to last you a month.