15 Best Substitutes for Shrimp


Seafood can help you create a very nice delicate dish, which many people will enjoy. There are many types of seafood that are used and are popular among many cuisines.

Shrimp is a very characteristic and specific type of seafood. It has a semi-transparent body that has a flexible abdomen and fanlike tail. Shrimp are found in oceans, deep water, freshwater lakes, and even streams. They are very delicious with many flavors.

There are hints of salty taste with sweet traces. Keep in mind that they are tender, very similar to white fish. You can combine shrimp with curry or rice. 

If you are vegan, you can try tofu or sweet potato while vegetarians can use shrimp paste and fish sauce as a substitute for shrimp. Make sure that you pick the right option, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian.

Take a look at our top picks, find out more about each and every one of them. Moreover, choose the right option for your recipe.

Best Shrimp Substitutes

As we stated previously seafood offers many varieties and options that you can choose from so there is no need to worry if you need to replace shrimps.

It may be tricky due to their soft texture and the salty-sweet flavors to find a replacement. However, we’ve created a list of suitable substitutes for shrimp.

Click through the next options and find the best for your cooking. We included a few options for vegans and vegetarians so they can also enjoy something similar to shrimps.

1. Langostino


The first option that you can find on our list to substitute shrimps is Langostino. Actually, this is one of the best and most suitable replacements that will fit perfectly in your cooking.

The looks of Langostino are somewhat between lobster and crab. Further, the texture and taste make Langostino even more suitable as a substitute for shrimp.

This is a perfect way to avoid using shrimp, especially if you are allergic to shellfish.

2. Clams


Even though calms have a very unique taste, shrimps can be replaced by them at any time. The pungent taste and smooth texture are what make them suitable.

Keep in mind that they might be more chewable. However, clams are good for most of the recipes that require shrimps. They are healthy with many nutrients. 

3. Scallops


Shrimps are also replaceable by scallops. The springy texture and fishy taste will be good for your recipes. What makes the two very similar are the sweet traces and buttery tones that would adjust well in your cooking.

You can actually cook them with a lemon butter sauce that is often used for shrimp. You’ll get similar results and a nice taste. 

4. Lobster tails

Lobster tails

The sweet and seafood taste of the lobster tails is what makes them a perfect replacement for shrimps. Even though they might be a bit softer, the spongy texture has a lot of protein. You can easily make the swap in most recipes as you’ll enjoy the taste of lobster. 

5. Crayfish


Another suitable replacement for shrimp will be crayfish. The sweet and salty taste with soft texture reminds of shrimps which makes it another suitable substitute.

You can easily make the swap in many recipes, especially for shrimp in shrimp cocktails. It may be a bit harder to find and more expensive to buy, but crayfish come really close to shrimp. 

6. Mussels


Similar to oysters and a good replacement for shrimp are mussels. They are often referred to as the chicken of the sea and are similar to shrimp. They have a mild taste and soft texture. You can use them in most of the recipes that require shrimps as a substitute. 

7. Surimi


A common ingredient in Asian cuisine, surimi will replace shrimp in many recipes. It comes in different shapes and forms. What makes surimi and shrimp similar is the texture. Make the swap in most recipes as you’ll get perfect results.

8. Chicken

Frying Chicken

Even though it is not a seafood option, the chicken will be perfect for replacing shrimp. If you are especially allergic to shellfish, chicken is the option you are looking for.

However, note that the taste is not completely the same, but the texture is similar. You can use chicken breasts and cook most of the recipes with this swap. 

9. Whitefish

Something that comes really close in the texture of shrimp is whitefish. This is yet another good replacement in most recipes that require shrimps. The taste may not be the same, but you won’t regret making the swap, as you’ll enjoy white fish as much as shrimps. 

Best Shrimp Vegan Substitutes

Since there are many vegans nowadays, real shrimp is often avoided.

If you are struggling to find some replacements which are suitable for you, actually you are on the right spot. This means that we have some of the best alternatives that will help you get the same taste and create nice dishes.

You can choose from fake shrimp, tofu, and sweet potatoes. These will be acceptable in your recipes and add the proper amount required so the results can be similar.

10. Fake shrimp


The first thing that comes to mind when looking for a vegan substitute for shrimp is using fake shrimp. The taste, texture, and flavor are practically the same and close to the real shrimps. Add in all of the recipes to make the swap as you’ll get similar results. 

11. Tofu

Marinated tofu

Tofu will be the last but not least vegan substitute for shrimp. It will work exceptionally well in many recipes. Keep in mind that tofu needs to have a soft texture since firm tofu won’t be suitable. 

12. Sweet potato

Sweet Potato

Vegans also have the option to choose sweet potato instead of shrimp.

All you have to do to create a similar taste is to make a puree out of the sweet potato, add oil, garlic powder, and paprika. You’ll create a nice soft and smooth texture.

Use it in most recipes that require shrimp. 

Vegetarian Substitute for Dried Shrimp

Not just vegans, but vegetarians are also looking for an absolute equal replacement for shrimps. So, you are probably looking for options that will help your recipe and get similar results.

To get close to the taste of shrimp we have two more options for you including fish sauce and shrimp paste. Both of them are perfect and easily found.

14. Fish sauce

Fish sauce

As a vegetarian substitute, you can use fish sauce.

The strong flavors of the fish sauce can substitute the shrimp, even though they are not similar. It has a more pungent taste and makes sure not to add too much.

Always start by adding less and increasing. 

15. Shrimp paste

A common substitute for shrimp will be shrimp paste. It can blend in with all kinds of veggies and curries. Shrimp paste has a  similar taste to shrimp and will add lovely pungent traces. Meaning, you won’t notice a big difference when making the swap. 

Related Questions

What is a good substitute for shrimp?

You can replace shrimp by using lobster tails, crayfish, scallops, surimi, and other sea fish. If you don’t enjoy seafood or you are allergic, you can use chicken.

What is a vegan substitute for shrimp?

There are many ways that you can actually find a vegan replacement for shrimp. You can use shrimp paste, soy sauce, or fish sauce.

What has the same texture as shrimp?

Shrimp has a very similar texture to chicken meat. That’s why chicken is a good substitute for shrimp.

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