So, why make vegan fish sauce? Well, if you like to make your own vegan Thai or Vietnamese food, fish sauce is a very common ingredient and gives these cuisines a nice flavor. I used this vegan fish sauce recipe in Nuoc Cham (the sauce used for Bun Chay aka vermercelli salad bowls) and you can also use it to season fresh Thai papaya salad (it’s made with green unripe papaya and is more like a raw squash).
How to Make Vegan ‘Fish’ Sauce
- 1/2 cups shredded wakame (see notes)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1/3 cup mushroom-flavored dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, or gluten-free tamari
- 1 teaspoon of genmai miso (it’s already pretty salty so this is optional)
- Combine wakame, garlic, peppercorns, and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Strain and return the liquid back to the pot. Add soy sauce, bring back to a boil, and cook until mixture is reduced and almost unbearable salty. Remove from heat and stir in miso.
- Decant into a bottle and keep in the refrigerator. Use one-for-one to replace fish sauce in vegan recipes.
Wakame is the seaweed used often in seaweed salad in Japanese restaurants. It’s shredded into little strips. So if you’ve ever tried seaweed salad, you’ll be familiar with it.