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The 5 Best Substitutes for Bagoong

Bagoong is a traditional Filipino condiment made from fermented fish or shrimp.

It is salty, slightly sweet, and has a pungent aroma.

Bagoong is used to flavor stir-fries, rice dishes, and soup.

It is also a popular ingredient in Filipino street food.

Bagoong is an important ingredient in many Filipino dishes, but it can be difficult to find outside of the Philippines.

If you’re looking for a substitute for bagoong, there are several options available.

In this article, we will discuss 5 of the best substitutes for bagoong.

What is Bagoong?

Bagoong is a Filipino condiment made from fermented fish or shrimp in salt.

It is salty and slightly sour, with a distinctive umami flavor.

The origins of bagoong are not clear, but it is thought to have originated in Indonesia or China.

It was probably introduced to the Philippines by way of trade.

Bagoong has been a part of Filipino cuisine for centuries, and there are many regional variations.

Bagoong is typically served with steamed rice.

It can also be used as a dipping sauce or added to soups, salads, and other dishes.

When using bagoong as a condiment, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way.

This potent seasoning should be used sparingly to avoid overwhelming other flavors in the dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bagoong

If you’re looking to add a salty, savory component to a dish but don’t have any bagoong on hand, never fear.

There are plenty of substitutes that will do the trick.

1 – Shrimp Paste

Shrimp paste is a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes.

It has a strong, salty flavor and a slightly sticky texture.

Shrimp paste is made from fermented shrimp or krill that has been ground into a paste.

It is used as a seasoning or condiment in Southeast Asian cooking.

Shrimp paste can be added to soups, stews, and stir-fries.

It is also used to make the popular Filipino dish, Bagoong.

If you can’t find shrimp paste, you can substitute Bagoong for the same flavor profile.

Just be aware that Bagoong is significantly saltier than shrimp paste.

2 – Dried Shrimps

A good substitute is dried shrimp.

Dried shrimp have a similar taste and texture to bagoong, and they can be used in all the same ways.

When shopping for dried shrimp, look for ones that are plump and still slightly pink in color.

Avoid any that are dry or have turned brown.

To use, simply soak the shrimp in water for about 15 minutes before adding them to your dish.

With a little creativity, you can easily recreate the flavor of bagoong with dried shrimp.

3 – Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a popular condiment in many Asian countries.

It is made from fermented fish and salt and has a strong, salty flavor.

Fish sauce is often used as a dipping sauce or added to soups and stir-fries.

It can also be used as a substitute for Bagoong, a Filipino shrimp paste.

Although it may not sound appetizing, the fish sauce actually has a complex flavor that is both salty and umami.

The fermentation process breaks down the fish proteins, resulting in a sauce that is rich in amino acids.

The fish sauce also has a slightly sweet taste due to the high sugar content of the fermenting fish.

If you are looking for a Bagoong alternative, fish sauce is a good choice.

It has a similar salty flavor but without the shrimpiness.

Fish sauce can be added to stews and sauces or used as a dipping sauce for grilled meats or vegetables.

When substituting fish sauce for Bagoong, start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste.

You may also want to add a little sugar or lime juice to balance out the saltiness.

4 – Anchovies

Anchovies are small, salty fish that is often used as a flavoring or seasoning ingredient.

They have a strong, pungent flavor and a firm, chewy texture.

Anchovies can be bought fresh, canned, or dried.

They are also available in a variety of different formats, including whole, fillets, and paste.

Anchovies are commonly used in Caesar salad and pizza.

They can also be used as a substitute for Bagoong, a Filipino shrimp paste.

To substitute anchovies for Bagoong, simply add them to the dish at the beginning of cooking.

Anchovies will impart a similar salty, umami flavor to the dish without being as overpowering as shrimp paste.

5 – Miso

For those who have not had the pleasure of trying it, miso is a fermented soybean paste that is popular in Japanese cuisine.

It has a salty, umami-rich flavor that is perfect for adding depth to soups and sauces.

Miso also has a creamy texture that makes it ideal for spreading on toast or mixing into dressings and marinades.

And best of all, it is extremely versatile – miso can be used as a substitute for fish sauce, soy sauce, or even shrimp paste.

So if you’re looking for an umami-packed ingredient that will add complexity to your cooking, miso is a great option.


In conclusion, there are many substitutes that can be used in place of Bagoong.

Shrimp paste, dried shrimp, fish sauce, anchovies, and miso all have similar flavors and can be used in the same way.

So if you can’t find Bagoong at your local store, don’t worry – you can still make your favorite Filipino dishes with one of these delicious substitutes.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bagoong

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bagoong
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Shrimp Paste
  • Dried Shrimps
  • Fish Sauce
  • Anchovies
  • Miso


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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