Recipes > Fermented Fish-Less Fish Sauce | No-Cook

Fermented Fish Less Fish Sauce | No Cook


This intensely flavored sauce adds that sought after fish-like or unami flavor that is so desirable in many Asian-style dishes.
  • Serves: 1 cup
  • Active Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Views: 25,983
  • Success Rating: 0% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Fish-Less Fish Sauce

Making the Fish-Less Fish Sauce
  • 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetarian flavored oyster sauce (a.k.a. mushroom-oyster sauce)*
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fermented black beans, made into a paste
  • 2 tbsp Shinshu miso (yellow miso)


Blend everything together and store in a sealable jar. This sauce will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

*Note: The vegetarian oyster sauce can be omitted, if desired — which of course will lead to a thinner sauce.

Substitute 1:1 for regular fish sauce, or to taste. Just note that this sauce is darker then a “typical” fish sauce, which will affect the color of whatever you are making.

Chef's Notes

For a thinner and slightly more fishy-fishless fish sauce, this recipe for Fish-Less Fish Sauce is also really good. Besides the ingredients used, the other difference is that this fish-less sauce is cooked and it does not keep quite as long as the one made with the fermented beans.


  • Mary jo D
    Mary jo D
    How do you make the fermented black bean paste for this recipe?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    The fermented black bean paste can be found at most Asian Grocery stores (or online of course). They are quite cheap and a little goes along way. Cheers, Dawn
  • Jacinth A
    Jacinth A
    hi, do you have any link on recipes where we can use this sauce? thanks in advance!
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Jacinth. Thank you for your engagement here! This sauce can be used anywhere that regular fish sauce is called for. It adds a depth and complexity of flavor. I use it in stir fry dishes as well as curries and when making kimchi. Here are a few links where you can use this sauce. Lauren
  • Claudia W
    Claudia W
    Can I buy the vegetarian flavored oyster sauce (a.k.a. mushroom-oyster sauce) where? It should be super flavor.
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Claudia. You can find it at most Asian markets and definitely online. It does add a lot to this recipe! Good luck. Lauren
  • Sandra S
    Sandra S
    Are there any recommended brands?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Sandra--thanks for writing. I get most of my supplies for this vegan fish sauce at HMart (Asian grocery chain). However, during these times, Amazon will work well. I do not purchase any specific brand, getting the product is my goal. This fish sauce will be delicious in a kimchi. Thanks for writing, hope this helps. -Char
  • Scott L
    Scott L
    Hi there, I’ve noticed a lot of fish sauces have seaweed. I have thyroid issues and am best to avoid seaweed at the moment, but I’d like to learn how to make a healthy fish sauce. I would be open to using fish. I also notice slot of commercially available oyster sauce has sugar in them and I don’t eat sugar either. Do you think the above recipe is probably my best bet but without the oyster sauce if it has sugar in it? Thanks
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Scott: thanks for your query. With your very specific dietary needs, it might be best to check with your medical provider, first. Seaweed and sugar appear to be the two main concerns for you right now, and they also seem to be the main ingredients that develop the flavor profile you are seeking. I reviewed many ingredient lists of vegan fish sauces--and Kombu and sugar were among the first five ingredient profiled. Let us hear from you, again, Char

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