Best Substitutes for Fish Stock – 5 Great Options


Fish stock is the strained liquid obtained due to cooking fish bones, heads, trimmings, and other seasoning ingredients in water.

It adds depth, flavor and forms the base of several recipes, including fish soups, fish sauce, and other seafood dishes.

Suppose you want to cook a dish with fish stock, yet you don’t like its flavor or don’t have time to prepare it or can not find it in your supermarket; few ingredients may be used instead of fish stock.

Keep on reading this article for more information about the substitutes of fish stock.

5 Best Substitutes for Fish Stock

The best substitutes for Fish Stock are – Clam Juice, Vegetable Stock, Chicken Stock, Dashi, and Takumi Stock Powder.

This subsection will discuss different substitutes that may be swapped in place of fish stock. Some of these substitutes may be suitable for individuals with seafood allergies.

Clam Juice

Clam juice is a liquid strained from freshly shucked nutritious clams in salted water before bottling.

It may also be prepared using liquid collected from the steamed clams.

It has a salty flavor that works well in many dishes. Bottled clam juice may substitute for fish stock.

For making a highly concentrated fish stock, add half a vegetable bouillon per cup of clam juice and cook it until a quarter of it cooks away.

The flavourful liquid left has a clear texture which is suitable for various seafood recipes.

How to Substitute

A cup of bottled clam juice with a half vegetable bouillion and cooked uncovered until 25% evaporated may transform into highly concentrated stock. It may be substituted for fish stock in a variety of recipes.

Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is a liquid prepared by simmering vegetables, including carrot, onions, carrots, celery, with fresh herbs and spices.

It may be suitable for vegetarians and vegans, adding a depth and complexity of flavor to soups, stews, casseroles, grain, and bean dishes.

It may be used to substitute fish stock as it is made of only vegetables and a flavor that will blend with different recipes.

As it comes in dried or liquid forms, it may cater to the needs of the recipe. Using vegetable stock with mushrooms may give an umami flavor compared to simple vegetable stock.

How to Substitute

Equal amounts of vegetable stock with mushrooms may be substituted for a cup of fish stock.

Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is a liquid rendered by simmering chicken bony parts along with aromatic vegetables.

It tends to have a richer flavor due to the gelatine released from the long-simmering bones.

Chicken stock may also substitute fish stock as it is made of white meat and does not have an overpowering flavor.

Like fish stock, it may come in different forms, including liquid, dried which may be used according to the need of the recipe, making it easier to substitute.

However, it may be necessary to dilute the chicken stock when used as a substitute as it is very salty.

How to Substitute

Half a cup of chicken broth may be diluted with a part of water and substituted for a cup of fish stock. Dilution is required as chicken stock tends to be very salty.


Dashi is a stock made from seaweed and bonito fish flakes commonly used in Japanese cuisine as the base for miso soup and noodle dishes.

It offers a dish with complex umami, sour, and bitter components.

Dashi may be used to substitute fish stock as it is also a type of fish stock. It provides the same qualities but with a slightly different flavor.

It does not have a strong seafood flavor like clam juice. Dried shitake mushrooms offer an umami flavor and are sometimes used to make dashi with kombu (seaweed).

This version of dashi with mushrooms may be suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

How to Substitute

Equal amounts of dashi may be used to substitute fish stock in different recipes. It offers an umami flavor that may enhance the taste of the dish.

Takumi Stock Powder

Takumi stock powder is a stock powder mixture of Japanese ingredients, including dried kombu, bonito powder, tamogitake, and shitake mushroom extract.

It gives instant flavor to miso soups, broths, and vegetable dishes and may be available at Asian stores.

It may work as a replacement for fish stock as it offers a similar deep seafood flavor.

If used as a substitute for fish stock, it may have to be diluted with water following the manufacturer’s instructions.

However, it may be sometimes difficult to find as it is not a popular ingredient in India.

How to Substitute

Takumi stock powder may be diluted according to the package instructions and may be used in the same ratio as fish stock in the dishes.


Is fish sauce the same as fish stock?

No. Fish sauces are liquid fermented products made by storing heavily salt-preserved fish material until the endogenous enzymes mobilize it.

Fish stock has a milder flavor prepared by cooking fish and other seasoning ingredients in water, whereas fish sauce has an intense flavor.

Can we use beef stock instead of fish stock?

Beef stock may be used to substitute fish stock. However, it is not a popular substitute as it has a strong flavor and may alter the dish’s flavor.

If using a substitute, it is preferable to dilute them to lessen its impact on the dish.

Is it possible to use shellfish stock instead of fish stock?

Yes. Shellfish stock made of shrimp, crab, or lobster may replace fish stock as it offers similar seafood flavors. However, it may not be suitable for individuals with shellfish allergies.

Bottom Line

Fish stock is a popular flavourful ingredient used to make seafood dishes, soups, and sauces.

There may be few reasons, including allergies, taste preference, and dietary restrictions, that you may want to substitute fish stock.

This article has presented you with effective substitutes, including clam juice, vegetable stock, chicken stock that may be swapped for fish stock. You may choose the one according to your availability and preferences.

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About Marie Thomas

Marie is a food enthusiast who has always wanted to have her own food blog. She loves cooking and experimenting with new recipes, and she can't wait to share them with the world when she finally launches her blog! When Marie isn't in the kitchen cooking up something delicious or writing about her adventures at home or on vacation, you might find Marie taking care of her family and enjoying time with friends.