Shrimps are versatile seafood used in various cuisines all around the world. They are usually prepared with different methods like deep-frying, boiling, grilling, sautéing, and baking.
Shrimps have a mild slightly sweet-salty flavor and creamy texture if they’re prepared the right way. They’re delicious and complement various dishes like curry, pasta, soup, gumbo, salad, rice, jambalaya, sushi, and of course, stock.
You can prepare many different seafood dishes like soups, sauces, risotto, paella, and stews with a shrimp stock. It has an intense, rich, fresh flavor that resembles the shrimp and sea.
If you don’t have shrimps at hand, don’t fret! You can use other things and obtain similar flavors.
Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes
You can use any of these substitutes instead of shrimp stock to get a similar flavor in your dish.
1. Seafood Stock
Seafood stock is made from one or more types of seafood like crabs, shrimps, lobsters, oysters, mussels, fish, herbs, spices, and vegetables.
It has salty, mixed flavors of seafood, vegetables, spices, and herbs. Most people use seafood stock as a base for seafood dishes, risotto, soups, and stews.
You can use it as a substitute for shrimp stock in a 1:1 ratio.
2. Vegetable Broth
Vegetable broth is a good shrimp stock substitute, especially for vegans or vegetarians. It is made of carrots, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and water.
You can purchase vegetable broth or prepare it yourself with these ingredients and adjust the quantities and ingredients to your taste. Vegetable broth is a healthy substitute for shrimp stock rich in vitamins and minerals but doesn’t have the specific shrimp flavor.
Substitute shrimp stock with vegetable broth in a 1:1 ratio.
3. Chicken Stock
Chicken stock can be also used as a substitute for shrimp stock. It is made with chicken bones, water, vegetables like celery, carrots, and onions, herbs like parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, and salt and pepper as seasonings.
Chicken stock has a rich not very salty flavor and is usually used in soups, sauces, stews, risotto, and many other dishes to enhance their flavor.
You can either purchase or make chicken stock and use it as a substitute for shrimp stock in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Clam Juice
Clams are a type of seafood and clam juice is the strained liquid from the steamed clams. It has a salty, fresh sea flavor and is usually used in various seafood dishes, and beverages or it can be also drunk on its own.
You can buy bottled clam juice from the store and use it as a substitute for shrimp stock in your soups, sauces, braises, stews, and other seafood dishes.
Substitute shrimp stock with clam juice in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Fish Stock
Fish stock is a good substitute for shrimp stock because it will provide a similar flavor to dishes. It is made with fish bones and heads, celery, carrots, onions, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, cloves, dry white wine, water, salt, and pepper.
Fish stock has a mild fishy, salty flavor and is used in stews, soups, casseroles, risotto, pasta, and many other dishes.
You can use fish stock as a substitute for shrimp stock in a 1:1 ratio.
Dashi is a type of stock used in Japanese cuisine.
You can find different recipes for dashi which include different ingredients like dried kelp, dried bonito flakes, dried anchovies or sardines, and dried shitake mushrooms.
They all have a slightly different but rich, savory flavor and are used in various dishes like soups, sauces, udon dishes, rice, and ramen.
Use dashi as a substitute for shrimp stock to get a beautiful umami flavor in your dishes in a 1:1 ratio.
7. Seaweed Stock
This stock is also a good substitute for shrimp stock which you can use in your dishes. Seaweed has a rich, salty, and savory umami flavor and is mostly used in Asian cuisine.
You will only need a seaweed like wakame, kombu, hijiki, or dulse, vegetables, and water.
In a large pot, put some wakame and kombu seaweed, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, parsley, ginger, coriander, porcini mushrooms, then add water. Simmer for about one hour, cool, and strain.
Your seaweed stock is ready to use as a substitute for shrimp stock in a 1:1 ratio.
8. Beef Broth
The beef broth has a different and stronger flavor than shrimp stock. However, you can use it to enhance the flavor of different dishes if you have it on hand. It consists of beef meat, vegetables, herbs, and spices and has a savory, beefy flavor.
You can use beef broth as a substitute for shrimp stock in a 1:1 ratio but if the flavor is too strong for you you can use less.
9. Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is made of oyster extract and has an earthy, salty, and slightly sweet umami flavor. It has a dark brown color and thick texture and is mostly used in Chinese cuisine.
Oyster sauce works well in sauces, marinades, stews, soups, stir-fries, and dressings. If you don’t mind the dark color of this sauce, you can use it as a substitute for shrimp stock to get a lovely umami flavor.
Mix 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce with 125 ml water and use this mixture as a substitute for one cup of shrimp stock. Add this mixture at the end of the cooking time because the oyster sauce will turn bitter if cooked longer at high heat.
10. Shrimp Stock Cubes
Shrimp stock cubes make a good alternative that you can use as a substitute for shrimp stock. They will add a beautiful shrimp flavor to soups, sauces, stews, vegetables, meat, risotto, pasta, and other dishes.
Dissolve one shrimp stock cube in two cups of boiling water and use it as a substitute for two cups of shrimp stock.
11. DIY Shrimp Stock
The best substitute for store-bought shrimp stock is homemade shrimp stock. Use the recipe below and prepare the best shrimp stock that you have ever tasted.
Homemade Shrimp Stock Recipe
For this recipe, you will need only a few simple ingredients that will help you make a healthy and delicious shrimp stock.
- Shells from two pounds of shrimp
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium-size yellow onion quartered
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 8 cups of cold water
- 6 springs of parsley
- Sea salt to taste
In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the shrimp shells. Cook for 3-4 minutes with constant stirring. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover with water.
When the stock starts to boil reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to half for about half an hour.
Strain and your shrimp stock is ready to use. You can either keep the stock in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for about 3 months.
What Is An Alternative To Seafood Stock?
An alternative to seafood stock is shrimp stock, chicken stock, dashi, fish stock, vegetable broth, clam juice, or beef broth.
Can I Use Vegetable Stock Instead Of Shrimp Stock?
You can use vegetable stock instead of shrimp stock. It is a healthy substitute for shrimp stock rich in vitamins and minerals. The only bad thing is that it doesn’t have the specific shrimp flavor.
Is Clam Juice A Good Substitute For Seafood Stock?
Clam juice makes a good substitute for seafood stock because it is the strained liquid from the steamed clams. It has a salty and fresh sea flavor and works well in different seafood dishes and beverages. You can also drink it plain.
Is Shrimp Stock The Same As Fish Stock?
Shrimp stock and fish stock are not the same. Shrimp stock consists of shrimp shells, while fish stock is made with fish bones and heads. They both have similar flavors, so you can use them as a substitute for one another.
You can use shrimp stock in various seafood dishes because of the rich and intense flavor which gives a specific flavor to every dish in which you add it to.
However, in case you don’t have it on hand try some of these substitutes and enhance the flavor of your dishes. You will not get the exact shrimp flavor but they will bring hints of freshness and sea to your food.
Use the substitute that you think will pair best with the rest of the ingredients in your recipe and enjoy the new flavors you will get from them.