10 Best Substitutes for Fish Stock

Fish Stock

If you have a recipe that requires fish stock, it might be challenging to make it without this important ingredient. Luckily, there are certain substitutes that you can use if you run out of fish stock. We will talk about all these substitutes in detail as it follows so keep reading!

The best substitutes for fish stock are chicken broth, miso soup, vegetable soup, soy sauce, Diluted fish sauce, Diluted Worcestershire sauce, Dashi, Beef stock, Seafood broth and Oyster sauce.

Let’s see how each one of these substitutes can enrich the flavor of your food if you don’t have fish stock! 

Substitutes for Fish Stock

You can use the following replacements for fish stock in almost all recipes as long as you respect the quantities. 

1. Chicken stock


As we mentioned, chicken soup tends to be the first option when it comes to finding a substitute for fish stock. Chicken stock or broth is full of a delicious flavor that can make almost any type of recipe that requires a stock to taste better.

The best chicken stock you can use is the one you make at home. However, if you don’t have homemade chicken stock, you can find it easily at most supermarkets. Use it in the same quantity you would use fish stock and enjoy its delicious taste. 

2. Miso soup

Miso Soup

Miso soup is most likely the most well-known Japanese soup and you can find it in plenty of other countries as well. Just like chicken soup, miso can be homemade and stored in the fridge or freezer or you can purchase it already made.

Among other ingredients, miso soup contained dried sardines so it will give your food that fish taste that you want so much. Use only the broth from the soup though, because it will be concentrated enough. Besides the fish flavor, this soup will give your recipe that tasty Asian flavor as well.  

3. Vegetable stock 

Vegetable stock 

Vegetable stock is a great alternative to fish stock, especially if you want to cook a recipe for a vegan person or if you want to eat a vegan dish yourself.  You might have to add some extra seasonings however because the vegetable stock will not be as rich in taste as fish stock.

But you can always add some seasonings specific for fish and end up with one of the most delicious dishes you can make with no struggle. 

4. Soy sauce 

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce can replace fish stock successfully as long as you don’t overdo it. Since soy sauce has a strong taste you don’t want to add a lot of it because your food will taste too salty. If you add soy sauce, it might be a good idea to skip adding any extra salt.

Keep tasting the food as you add your soy sauce to know when it is enough because it will differ from recipe to recipe. Plus, some people will like it with more soy sauce while others prefer less of it. So, in the end, it comes down to your personal preferences. 

5. Diluted fish sauce 

Just like you can successfully add soy sauce to your recipe, instead of fish stock, you can also add fish sauce. You will have to keep in mind the same aspect, however. Adding too much fish sauce will make your final recipe too strong in flavor. Fish sauce is very concentrated and you shouldn’t have to add more than one or two tablespoons to offer your dish that fishy taste. 

6. Diluted Worcestershire sauce 

Worcestershire sauce also contains fish in its original recipe. Thanks to this aspect, it can go great in a lot of dishes that require a fish stock or fish broth. The only aspect you need to pay attention to is the quantity of Worcestershire sauce you use. Even if you happen to like this sauce a lot, you still want to keep the quantities under control. 

7. Dashi 

Dashi is also a type of fish stock that you can use if you run out of your traditional fish stock. You can find it already made in certain supermarkets or stores but don’t expect it to be as common as chicken stock for instance. It will give your recipe a similar taste with the famous miso soup and you will not notice that it doesn’t have the original fish stock in it. 

8. Beef stock 

Beef stock

Beef stock or beef broth might not sound like the best replacement for fish stock but it actually can work just fine. Beef stock is rich in flavor and it will complement the rest of the ingredients in your recipe nicely.

You can add the same quantity of beef stock as you would add fish stock. But expect your dish to taste slightly different than it would with fish stock, due to the particular and strong flavor of beef. Beef stock is common in a variety of dishes and you can easily find it already made in a lot of stores. 

9. Seafood broth 

Seafood broth is maybe one of the best replacements for fish stock in any type of recipe. If you don’t have fish broth you can make your own seafood broth or seafood stock. It is made just like the chicken or beef broth and it has a closer fishy taste that will go great in any fish dish. Add the same amount of seafood stock to your recipe and you will not even tell the difference. 

10. Oyster sauce

Oyster sauce can successfully replace any type of fish stock in any type of recipe. Just like seafood stock, this sauce has a strong fish flavor thanks to the basic ingredient which is oysters.

A couple of tablespoons of oyster sauce should offer your recipe the fish taste you want along with some plain water to dilute this concentrated ingredient. 


Can I use fish sauce instead of fish stock?

Fish sauce is probably one of the best substitutes for fish stock. It doesn’t matter from what kind of fish is the sauce made as long as it will add the flavor you want to your food. If you add it to any recipe instead of fish stock, simply dilute a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce and add it to the rest of the ingredients.

You might need to adjust the ingredients in order to achieve the taste you want. Consider that fish sauce will give your food a salty taste which you might want to alter with fish seasonings and less or no extra salt. 

Can I use chicken stock with fish?

As we mentioned in our selection, chicken stock is a great alternative to fish stock but take into account that it will add a chicken flavor to your food. However, without seasonings, the chicken flavor can be rather bland.

This means that you can add the seasonings you want in order to give it the taste that you want. When you use chicken broth or stock you will like the final result more if you use homemade stock. This way you can make it as concentrated as you want and season it just the way you want to. 

How do you make fish stock from scratch?

Making fish stock from scratch is one of the easiest things you can make. It is similar to make with chicken or beef stock but you will have to let it boil a lot less time. 

For this recipe you will need 2 pounds of white fish bones with some meat on them as well, a medium onion sliced, one leek sliced, 2 bay leaves, 2 fresh parsley sprigs, 2 fresh thyme springs and 4 black peppercorns. 

Make sure you clean the fish bones properly and add them into a container along with the rest of the ingredients and ten cups of plain, cold water.

Let all the ingredients get to a boiling level and keep them simmering for 30 minutes. Make sure to remove any scum from the surface as the stock simmers. 

Strain the final stock until you obtain only the liquid from it and store it in the fridge or freezer as soon as it cools down. If you choose to store it in the fridge, this stock will stay good for up to five days. If you freeze it, you can store it for as long as two months. 


Fish stock can enrich the flavor of many recipes, from soups to stir-fry ones and it is popular in both Asian and Spanish cuisines. But if you don’t have fish stock or broth you can use any of the substitutes in this guide.

You might find it better to make your own fish stock and store it properly so you never have to worry about replacing it, to begin with.

It is one of the easiest stocks to make and it will come very handy in your kitchen. Besides the ingredients mentioned in our recipe, you can also add the seasonings that you prefer according to your taste. 

1 comment
  1. Thank you Saurabh I found your tips very interesting. I have found by going onto the internet (instead of a recipe book) that I have picked many tips and have found them very useful like I didn’t know what fish cubes were so I looked them up on my iPhone (I thought that it was another fish chopped up) You are never too old to learn I am 77 and love to learn recipies.

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