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There are a few recipes for vegetarian Fish Sauce. The following recipe has been well thought out and has tried to approximate many aspects of the True Fish Sauce.


  • 500 ml (2 cups) shredded dried seaweed
  • 950 ml (4 cups) water
  • 3 cloves garlic (smashed but not minced)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lime juice (concentrate OK)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (concentrate OK)
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) vinegar
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground garlic
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder

Dried seaweed is commonly available in "asian markets". The shredded type produces a richer sauce.


  1. In a large bowl, add 500 ml (2 cups) dried seaweed + 950 ml (4 cups) water
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Add garlic cloves + peppercorns + soy sauce + lime juice+ vinegar + sugar + ginger + ground garlic +  chili powder
  4. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium and cook for 30 minutes
  5. You can adjust the salt level by adding water
  6. Allow to cool
  7. Strain into a container

Straining is the key. Once it's strained you can pour it into a large  bottle, and label it "Veggie Fish Sauce" or  "Nuoc Mam Chay". If you've ever tasted the real fish sauce you can sample a tiny bit and see just how close to the real thing it really tastes. This sauce is "fishy" and strong similar to the real fish sauce.

There is a relatively new commercial Veg fish Sauce called: nước mắm chay sauce