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No-Fish Sauce

No-Fish Sauce 24.000

Scott Suchman for the Washington Post; food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post

Feb 1, 2022

Michelle Tam, who co-authored “Nom Nom Paleo. Let’s Go” with her husband Henry Fong, notes that fish sauce is “one of the mightiest umami amplifiers in my cooking.” She created this “close facsimile” sauce to take its place for those who want to avoid fish for dietary reasons.

Active time: 30 minutes; Total time: 1 hour

Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Where to Buy: Dulse seaweed can be found at Asian supermarkets and online.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 servings; makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup packed dried dulse seaweed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (see NOTE)
  • 2 large dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce), broken into small pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt

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In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the water, dulse, coconut aminos, shiitakes and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer (discard the solids) and let cool to the touch. Transfer to a resealable bottle or jar and refrigerate.

NOTE: If you can't find coconut aminos, you may use soy sauce.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Nom Nom Paleo. Let’s Go!” by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong (Andrew McMeal Publishing, 2022).

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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