9 Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes To Try!

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Over all these years of cooking, one thing that is irreplaceable in my kitchen is good old shrimp stock. Adding a few dashes of this stock can make any food taste like a seafood paradise. But what about situations where you are all out? In that case, have a look at these best shrimp stock substitutes! 

Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes

The best substitutes you could use in any recipe when out of shrimp stock are fish stock, clam juice, seafood stock, oyster sauce, dashi, chicken stock, shrimp paste, clam juice, and a DIY shrimp stock. 

Many recipes lately call for shrimp stock. This is especially true for recipes that want a sharp seafood flavor. Shrimp stock also works better than fish stock, as it does not have as intense a flavor. 

Despite being slightly more neutral in flavor, shrimp stock provides the best taste possible when making any seafood-based recipe. Moreover, shrimp stock is easy to make, store, and versatile. It can also flavor some sauces, stews, soups, and risotto. 

So, for those of you who love shrimp, this must be a staple in your kitchen as well, I am sure. Hence, it can be a big bummer when you are all out of an essential ingredient. Moreover, a lot of people are also allergic to shellfish. 

Therefore, shrimp stock is entirely out of the question. However, plenty of substitutes can give you the desired flavor as you would get out of shrimp stock. You may have to tweak your recipe, but it will eventually be worth it! Now without further ado, let’s take a look at these substitutes! 

9 Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes

Here is a list of the best substitutes you could use instead of shrimp stock in practically any recipe! 

1. Fish Stock

Fish Stock

Fish stock is the closest substitute for shrimp stock, mainly in flavor. Fish stock’s overall flavor depends quite a bit on the type of fish used to make it. Most fish stock at supermarkets consists of a combination of different kinds of fish. 

So this leads to the stock having a strong, yet pleasing, undertone flavor of the sea. You could look at the type of fish used to make the stock or make some of your own at home, which barely takes any time. 

In either case, I suggest going for fish stock that does not have a strong fishy odor, especially if you want the flavor to be close to that of shrimp stock. For almost every recipe, the same quantity of fish stock will work just fine as that of shrimp stock. 

2. Clam Juice

Clam Juice

Clam juice comes a close second when replicating flavors like that of shrimp stock. Clam juice is readily available in most grocery stores and is versatile. However, in most cases, it can be too salty. 

So, diluting it with some water eliminates that briny flavor. Take three parts of clam juice and cut it with one part of water. This concoction can be used in place of shrimp stock in just about any recipe out there, in a 1:1 ratio. 

3. Shrimp Stock Cubes

This is a lifesaver when you are out of options. Stock cubes are far from homemade stock in terms of flavor. So, although this may seem like the most obvious option, I consider it the last one! 

Nevertheless, although the flavor may not be fresh, shrimp stock cubes work well as a substitute for shrimp stock. You can prepare the stock as per the instructions given on the box and use it in a 1:1 ratio of substitution. If you want a more robust flavor, add a little more. 

4. Seafood Stock

Seafood stock is generally made with more than one type of seafood. A seafood stock combines muscles, clams, shrimp, crab, oysters, and even muscles. So, it tastes like a lovely combination of all flavors. 

Compared to shrimp stock, seafood stock can have a bolder flavor. This is mainly because of the combination of seafood. But it can also work in your favor, especially if you want that strong flavor. 

In most cases, the direct substitution of shrimp stock with seafood stock works perfectly. However, you can adjust it based on the flavor intensity you want your food to have. 

5. Dashi


If you are looking for a shrimp stock with a twist in the flavor, then Dashi is undoubtedly an option worth considering. Dashi is a Japanese stock made with seafood and kelp seaweed. Compared to regular shrimp stock, Dashi tends to have a bolder flavor. 

Moreover, Dashi has a sharper umami flavor because of the kelp, with undertones similar to shrimp stock. If you want to experiment with bolder flavors yet a consistency identical to shrimp stock, then 

Dashi is undoubtedly an option worth considering. The ratio of substitution can be 1:1. 

6. Shrimp Paste and Water

Shrimp Paste

Unlike a stock, shrimp paste tends to have a much bolder flavor. Shrimp paste is much sharper in flavor overall, and even as a substitute for shrimp stock, it should be used sparingly. It will, however, provide those fishy undertones. 

While using shrimp paste, make sure to thin it down with water. In most cases, about a tablespoon of shrimp paste mixed with a cup of water will give you the desired flavor. However, please check the stock’s flavor once before adding it to any recipe to ensure it is not too pungent. 

7. Oyster Sauce 

Oyster sauce

Like shrimp paste, the oyster sauce has a robust and pungent flavor. The oyster sauce is a safe bet when you don’t have any other option. However, the oyster sauce also tends to have an umami flavor, similar to that of Dashi. 

So, although it will give your recipe that subtle hint of the ocean, it will also give it an undertone of an umami flavor. Yet again, mix a teaspoon of oyster sauce with a cup of water and then use that as a substitute for shrimp stock in a 1:1 ratio. 

8. Chicken Broth

chicken broth

This may come as a surprise, but chicken broth works fine as a substitute for shrimp stock. The thing with chicken broth is that it is best to go for a diluted version, as there are fewer chances of it having a meaty flavor. 

Moreover, if you have some shrimp or other seafood shells lying around, you can quickly saute them and add them to the chicken broth, making it less meaty. This substitute works well in all recipes when used in a 1:1 ratio. 

9. Homemade Shrimp Stock

Shrimp Shell Stock

The best substitute that can be used in place of shrimp stock is a DIY homemade shrimp stock. If you are a kitchen beginner, making your stock may sound daunting. But making shrimp stock has been the easiest thing ever! 

To make one at home, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan, add some shrimp, and saute until they turn pink, which should take 5 minutes. Next, add 4 cups of water, a chopped onion, a carrot, and a celery stalk. 

Then, add some bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt and let the stock simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. After simmering, let it pass through a fine mesh strainer, and voila! There you have your homemade shrimp stock! 

Short Recap Of Shrimp Stock Substitutes

Here is a recap of the best substitutes out of the abovementioned lot based on certain factors. Moreover, I have also mentioned the substitutes that you should consider last. 

Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor:

  1. Homemade Shrimp Stock
  2. Fish Stock

Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes In Terms Of Availability:

  1. Oyster Sauce
  2. Clam Juice
  3. Shrimp Stock Cubes. 

Shrimp Stock Substitutes That You Should Consider Using Last:

  1. Oyster Sauce
  2. Shrimp Paste

How To Use Shrimp Stock Substitutes

Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes

9 Best Shrimp Stock Substitutes To Try

The best substitutes you could use in any recipe when out of shrimp stock are fish stock, clam juice, seafood stock, oyster sauce, dashi, chicken stock, shrimp paste, clam juice, and a DIY shrimp stock.
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  • Fish Stock
  • Clam Juice
  • Shrimp Stock Cubes
  • Seafood Stock
  • Dashi
  • Shrimp Paste and Water
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Chicken Broth
  • Homemade Shrimp Stock


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Shrimp stock is a vital ingredient when cooking anything with seafood. It gives that perfectly subtle sea flavor without overpowering the whole dish. Although it is versatile, there can be situations where you may need help to have it handy. 

However, several substitutes will do the trick just fine in that case! Here, I recommend looking at each substitute’s result; according to that, you can decide what works best for your recipe! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can vegetable stock be used as a substitute for shrimp stock? 

Vegetable stock can be used as a substitute for shrimp stock. However, it won’t have the depth of flavor you would expect from any seafood. 

Can water be used as a substitute for shrimp stock? 

It depends. Water can work fine if you need a substitute to adjust the stock’s consistency. 

Does shrimp paste have a very sharp flavor compared to shrimp stock? 

Yes, shrimp paste has a very sharp flavor compared to shrimp stock, so diluting it with water before using it is essential. 

Is clam juice readily available in markets? 

Yes, clam juice is indeed very readily available in most supermarkets. 

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