Mad Vegan Chef’s “Anchovy”

Vegan Anchovy
CaesarSalad - 16

There are a few classic ominvore recipes that call for the flavor of anchovies or anchovy paste. Here’s our best take at replicating their unique fishy, oily, salty flavor using only plant-based sources. Interestingly, Indian Black salt (which isn’t black) is harvested from shallow sea beds at low tide, so its characteristic funk may actually include natural fish flavor and/or aroma, with no fishing involved. We think that still qualifies it as a vegan ingredient. NB – there are no substitutes we know of for black salt or hing.  Both are available at Asian groceries or from Amazon.

Makes about the equivalent of 3 tinned anchovy fillets.


1 packed tablespoon capers, their liquid squeezed out (see photo)
1/8 tsp. Indian black salt (nala kamak)
tiny pinch asafoetida (hing) (see photo)
1/8 tsp. fleur de sel or grey sea salt
small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil


Thoroughly mash capers with sea salt, then combine with other ingredients. Use a mortar and pestle if you have them, or do what we did and use the back of an ice cream scoop and small mixing bowl.  Forming mixture into fish shape optional.

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