Anchovies Substitutes

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Anchovies are tiny, oily fish found all over the globe. They are popular delicacy around the world, from Scandinavia to Southeast Asia. We’ll look at some of the greatest anchovy alternatives for any meal in this post.

Anchovies are often salted and cured to preserve them. This gives the anchovies a strong, saline taste that may be used to make Worcestershire sauce, Caesar salad dressing, and other sauces. Tinned anchovies in oil are sometimes used as a pizza topping or snack. Anchovies were thought to be an aphrodisiac by the ancient Romans.

Anchovies are beloved all across the globe, but their flavor is divisive. Several individuals despise them because of their salty, fishy tastes and slimy texture. These are a few typical replacements for anchovies if you’re cooking for individuals who don’t like them.

Substitutions for Anchovies

1. Capers

Capers are salted and brined caper shrub buds. It looks like a little green berry and has a salty, pickled taste. Capers are often used in Mediterranean cuisine, including southern Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern dishes.

Capers seem to be an unexpected substitute for anchovies; the former is a fruit, while the latter is a fish. They do, however, share comparable salty, briny tastes. Capers may be substituted for anchovy paste or anchovies in prepared meals such as pasta sauces, roasted fish, and others.

Capers are sometimes used in place of anchovies in puttanesca.

2. Fish Sauce

In East and Southeast Asia, fish sauce is a popular condiment. Fish sauce may be created from a variety of fish, not simply anchovies. It has a salty taste comparable to anchovies, but with the extra kick of fermentation (many types of fish sauce are aged for up to two years).

Use fish sauce to acquire the taste of anchovies without dealing with the often slimy texture of the fish. Fish sauce works well in salad dressings, spaghetti sauces, and even soups. Yet, since it is excessively liquidy, it cannot be used as a pizza topping or snack.

3. Shrimp Paste

Shrimp paste is another Southeast Asian staple that may be used in lieu of anchovies or anchovy paste. Shrimp paste, as the name suggests, is formed from ground salted shrimp. It has a salty, fishy flavor comparable to anchovies.

Shrimp paste, like anchovies, may be used as a foundation for various fish sauces and dressings. While its fishy flavor might be overbearing at times, it is simple to mask with tomato sauce or puree. To minimize the taste dominating other components, use less shrimp paste than anchovies in a dish.

4. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a well-known fermented condiment from England. Since anchovies are one of the key components in this sauce, it has the salty, saline taste you’d expect from anchovies. Other components include vinegar, molasses, salt, and other spices, which serve to mask the anchovy taste.

Worcestershire sauce is an excellent substitute for anchovies in salad dressings and sauces since it has similar characteristics but is not as powerful (and the anchovies are conveniently blended with other tastes). Worcestershire sauce, on the other hand, does not work as a vegetarian or vegan substitute for anchovies.

5. Sardines

Sardines are little, silvery fish that are found all over the globe. Sardines are a group of fish that are classified differently depending on where you live. Sardines are available smoked, grilled, fried, or in a pickled tin.

Sardines, like anchovies, have a salty, saline taste. Yet, their flavor is significantly milder than that of anchovies, making them an excellent choice for recipes where the fishy flavor does not overshadow the other elements. Sardines may be used in pasta recipes and as pizza toppings.

Caesar dressing is another fantastic choice for sardines.

6. Miso

Miso, a popular Japanese condiment produced from fermented soybeans, is a popular Japanese condiment. It is available in a number of forms, including sauce, powder, and paste. You may also pick between white and red miso, which are fermented in different ways.

Miso, like anchovies, has a salty, fermented flavor. It may provide rich tastes to a sauce, salad, or stew without imparting the unpleasant fishy flavor of anchovies. Miso, unlike anchovies, is also vegetarian and vegan-friendly, thus it may be served to meet dietary constraints. Miso cannot be used in lieu of anchovies on pizza or pasta.

7. Mackerel

In salads, mackerel is a decent alternative for anchovies. While the taste isn’t exactly the same, mackerel goes well with practically any salad and is a fantastic fish alternative since it’s fatty and rich in omega-3s.


When it comes to anchovy substitutes, there are a few decent ones for each occasion. We looked at some of the most popular and adaptable solutions that may be used in every occasion in this list. Give one of them a try, and you’ll be astonished at how easily that tiny anchovy can be replaced.


What can I replace anchovies with in caesar dressing?

Anchovies in Caesar dressing may be replaced with Worcestershire sauce, capers, olives, soy sauce, miso paste, and even nori.

What is a vegetarian substitute for anchovies?

We hit on a strong combination after some experimenting: miso combined with ground toasted nori (toasting brings up the nutty taste of the seaweed). Miso is high in glutamates, whereas nori contains both glutamates and ribonucleotides (including some of the same ones that are in anchovies).

What can I use instead of anchovies in pasta puttanesca?

Although the majority of the components in a classic puttanesca sauce are vegan, the canned anchovies (fish) are not. The good news is that dried seaweed (nori) may be used to replace the fishy flavor of anchovies. If you don’t like dried seaweed, just leave it out.

How much fish sauce to substitute for anchovies?

Per anchovy fillet, use 2 teaspoons fish sauce. Hence, in dishes where anchovies are used to enhance taste, feel free to substitute 1 anchovy.

What can I substitute for anchovies in Italian cooking?

Worcestershire sauce is a popular anchovy alternative. Since the sauce incorporates anchovies as one of its components, you receive the robust and distinctive taste of anchovies even if you don’t have any on hand. Worcestershire sauce is a versatile ingredient that may be used in a variety of dishes, including casseroles, soups, stews, sauces, and marinades.

What can I use instead of anchovies in Caesar dressing vegetarian?

You’re in luck if you’re seeking for a Caesar dressing sans anchovies! Instead, we’re combining capers and roasted garlic to create a creamy, decadent-tasting Vegetarian Caesar Dressing lightened up with Greek yogurt.

What can I use instead of anchovies in Caesar salad?

As Caesar suggests, you may use one to two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce in place of anchovies to get the desired subtle “fishy” taste.

Why do chefs use anchovies?

Anchovies are prized by chefs and home cooks around the world for their funky, briny flavor and extraordinary versatility. They don’t just adorn pizzas, salads, and sandwiches; they also make their way into unique sauces, rubs, dressings, and dips, where they lend a meaty umami backbone to, well, anything.

What eats little fish like anchovies?

What Consumes Anchovies? Halibut, salmon, sharks, bluefish, striped bass, weakfish, and other fish are frequent predators of these fish.

Why do Italians use anchovies?

Cured anchovies are deliciously strong, salty, and aromatic, and they give a certain touch to savory recipes. Filetti di alici sott’olio – cured anchovy fillets in oil – and acciughe salate – entire brined and salt-packed anchovies – are popular in Italian cuisine for their characteristic umami flavor.

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