How to make vegan fish sauce

If you’re a fan of Thai and southeast Asian food, you know that fish sauce is a key ingredient to many dishes, giving them their unique flavor. Fish sauce, also called nuoc mam or nam pla, is made from fermented fish and salt. I thought it would be interesting to try to come up with a vegan alternative, so here is how to make vegan fish sauce.

A food blogger friend suggested that the key taste to capture was umami, the savory taste found in soy-based foods.

I took seaweed, soaked it, added miso for the salty umami flavor, and blended it. It has a briny taste that is a pretty reasonable substitute for fish sauce. Note that the final product is not particularly appetizing in color, so you might want to keep this a secret ingredient in your recipes. If you’re following a soy-free diet, use chickpea miso instead of soy-based miso for this recipe.

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
low-sodium or migraine diets

How to make vegan fish sauce

How to make vegan fish sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings of 1 tbsp


  • 1/2 ounce nori seaweed sheets
  • 2 tbsp miso (30 g), use chickpea miso for soy-free version
  • 1 cup water (filtered or spring)


  • Soak the seaweed in the water for 30 minutes. Add the miso and put in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh strainer, saving the liquid (toss or compost what is caught by the strainer), and store in the refrigerator.


Per serving:
  • 5 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 0 g saturated fat
  • 0 g monounsaturated fat
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 93 mg sodium
  • 0 mg potassium
  • 0 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 0 g sugars
  • 0 g protein
  • 0 Weight Watchers Points Plus