7 Best Anchovy Substitute You Can Easily Find At Home

Anchovy is one of the frequently used fish-flavors to spice up the saltiness in one dish. Despite how popular this kind of fish is, there must be times when they run out unexpectedly in the middle of your cooking.

So, what is a good anchovy substitute? What can we use to cover the missing anchovy? The answer will be given in this article!

The Best Anchovy Substitute For Anchovy Paste You Can Find

anchovy substitute

1. Forms of Anchovy

Well, the most straightforward anchovy replacement is anchovy itself, but in a different shape. When it comes to anchovy products, you can find various versions of this fish sold on the market.

You can regularly find these three products in any shop and market, including full anchovy, dry or non-dry; canned anchovy fillets; anchovy paste, etc. 

Since these elements are all anchovy-made, theoretically, they can all be replaced by each other when the anchovy ingredient runs out on the aspect of flavor.

However, in terms of food form, it all comes down to you to transfer the dish to the point when the substitution makes sense in the dish. 

For example, if your dish requires anchovy fillets, an anchovy paste substitute can make up the taste, but it won’t be presented as the fish forms as you want previously.

Also, anchovy paste tends to be heavy in texture and flavor, so consider it wisely as an alternative. Vice versa, you can utilize full fillets if you are short of anchovy paste.

Nevertheless, the whole fish will give an alternatively lighter flavor compared to the paste. 

If you intend to utilize filet, the perfect portion needed is one filet for ½ teaspoon of paste. Likewise, you can crush the fish into a paste-like consistency (however, it won’t have the additional vinegar and flavors.

For easier measurements, you can look at the numbers below:

  • One anchovy fillet equals a half teaspoon of anchovy paste (this ratio can change due to how thick or salty your anchovy paste is)
  • Mashed anchovies can be treated with the same ratio as anchovy paste (bear in mind that this theory only applies if your mashed anchovies are dense and concentrated).

2. Sardines

Although sardines and anchovies resemble each other when it comes to flavored-fish, sadly, sardines cannot be recognized as anchovy fillets substitute for several reasons. 

First, the flavor of these two kinds of fish sardines vs anchovies tastes different. If you are looking for a fish to cover the saltiness that anchovy brings, sadly, sardine cannot do the task as its flavor is extremely mild and light to anchovy. 

Second, they both differ in texture, so sardine fillet cannot cover and resemble anchovy fillet. For these two reasons, if you must replace anchovy with sardines, it will take you some effort to change the dish’s texture and flavor.

The only thing that these two fish have in common is that they look similar to each other on the outside, so if you want to replace a full anchovy fish on the plate, sardines can come in and makeup space.

3. Shrimp Paste

Shrimp paste is a wonderful cuisine combination of Asian countries. Although how bad its smell is in the first place, once shrimp paste is added to your dish, it certainly has a major role. It is ordinarily utilized in sauces and curries and liable for the flavor in these dishes. 

For that extraordinary flavor and spice, shrimp paste can be an ideal option for anchovy glue under the extent of ½ teaspoon of shrimp for ½ teaspoon of anchovy paste.

You can add pureed tomatoes or margarine to the compound to make shrimp paste milder, more appropriate with your dishes for more flavor adjusting.

4. Asian Fish Sauce

Another thing you can use to substitute anchovy without creating a gap in flavor is Asian fish sauce.

Extract directly from anchovy or sometimes catfish sauce; this Asian special treat is another genuinely normal and effectively accessible sauce; it ought to consistently be utilized sparingly because its impactful taste can give your dish an attractive scent or smell! 

For this replacement for anchovies to have the best result, it is smarter to utilize fish sauce substitute in soup, stews, stock, or braises. It can likewise be utilized in Caesar servings of mixed greens as well for the full package of flavor being settled.

5. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce

This sauce is an exceptionally well-known substitute for anchovies of all kinds since it contains anchovies as one of its fixed ingredients. For this reason, you don’t have to worry about the taste difference when substituting these fish.

Especially for recipes that require a taste of anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce can provide the same flavor and tastefulness. It is a matured fluid that contains a wide range of fixings other than anchovies but doesn’t give you that fishy taste.

For this reason, Worcestershire sauce is definitely one of the sauces you should lay your eyes on if you have to replace anchovies.

6. Capers

These pea-sized capers usually come in canned salt and vinegar, which are frequently utilized as a fixing in sauces and fish dishes. It is a decent option since it will give a solid flavor; however, not very overwhelming compared to using different alternatives.

The perfect portion for this replacement is ½ teaspoon of capers for one teaspoon of anchovy paste. Capers can be found anywhere, from your local stores to supermarkets.

7. Umeboshi

If you are a fan of sushi or Japanese cuisine, you may have heard of Umeboshi before. This Japanese dish is frequently made as a side dish with rice, and it brings an extremely intense flavor. This can go about as a substitute for anchovy paste to add the “umami” flavor.

In addition, it tends to be utilized by veggie lovers and vegans, especially in Thai dishes as a substitute for fish sauces. You can likewise apply it to the dressings of mixed greens as well.

Frequently asked questions

What Is A Vegetarian Substitute For Anchovies?

In vegetarian dishes that require saltiness, such as in anchovies, the following substitutions for anchovies can help:

Seaweed can provide an analogous fish flavor of anchovies in the form of vegetables. Seaweed is accessible and diversified in flavors also. Other options are kalamata olives, capers, or umeboshi.

All these vegetables can be a great substitution in Caesar salad dressing since they add a nice salty, savory flavor to the dish.

Soya sauce or soy sauce are the two types you should use to replace the sauce aspect.

Can I Make My Own Anchovy Paste?

Here is the list of ingredients you will need to make your anchovy paste recipe:

  1. 2 portions of canned anchovies
  2. Two cloves garlic.
  3. Two sprigs thyme
  4. One teaspoon of mustard.
  5. Three teaspoons of vinegar.
  6. Black pepper
  7. Two tablespoons of olive oil

All you have to do is concentrate all of the ingredients lists above in a food blender or a food processor.

With the machine running, you can pour in some drops of olive oil for extra moisture during the blending to make the product come out evenly and blend fully. Take the substance out, and there you go, your own homemade anchovy paste. 

Can You Substitute Sardines For Anchovies In Caesar Dressing?

As we have mentioned before, sardines and anchovies are distinct when it comes to flavor. So if you insist on replacing these two together, there must be a change in the Caesar salad dressing recipe.

But don’t worry, there is a substitute for anchovy paste in caesar salad dressing, including capers, umeboshi, etc. Think of these substitutions before hitting sardines.

Are Canned Anchovies Bad For You?

Even though canned anchovies contain many sound fats and bring in a lot of nutrition for your health, the sodium content for these salted fish filets is excessively high.

One two-ounce jar of anchovies contains 100 calories. However, it additionally conveys more than 100% of the suggested every day remittance of sodium.

For this reason, you should be aware of how much-canned anchovy you take in a day to avoid too much sodium concentration.

Why are anchovies so salty?

Canned anchovies are often canned in salt for months, which gives them the opportunity to transfer from fish too salty, a briny powerhouse with no fish taste left behind thanks to the effect of bacteria and enzymes.

Anchovies taste pretty off-putting and pungent—which can make them overpowering if you can’t adjust the flavor to the right level.

Anchovies likewise have a fifth taste, called umami, a flavorful taste found in nourishments high in the corrosive amino glutamate. This is why canned anchovies can be so salty.

The Final Words

And that’s all we have to cover the best anchovy substitute you can use. Anchovies are a wellspring of extraordinary umami flavor, and they function admirably in a wide assortment of dishes.

However, it is not an impossible task to replace anchovy as there are options for you to choose from whenever you run out of anchovy.

Remember that the key to good substitution is to understand what your dish needs so as to select the most appropriate food replacement. Thank you for reading our article, and we will catch up with you soon!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.