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Aug 20, 2009 06:52 PM

Substitute for dried shrimp paste?

Preparing a Malaysian recipe (grilled fish in banana leaf) that calls for 1 slice dried shrimp paste. Can't find it in Ann Arbor. Is there a suitable substitute? Here's how my cookbook describes dried shrimp paste:

"Intensely flavored, this Southeast Asian seasoning paste is made by salting, fermenting and then drying shrimp. Called blacan in Malaysia, trasi in Indonesia, kapi in Thailand and ngapi in Myanmar, it is most often sold in hard blocks from which slices can be easily cut with a sharp knife. Do not confuse the dried paste with shrimp sauce, called bagoong in the Philippines and sometimes shrimp paste in English, a highly pungent, thick grayish sauce sold in jars. It is easily found in Chinese grocery stores."

I'm thinking of just leaving it out, but I'm concerned the recipe will suffer without it.


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  1. I would use fish sauce (a.k.a. nam pla or nuoc mam), anchovy paste, oyster sauce. or Better Than Bouillon clam base. You'd need to taste since they are all salty and working out the equivalent "dose" is well nigh impossible.

    1. Go to You can order all kinds of Asian goods, delivered to your door.