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Old 03-05-2008, 10:48 AM   #11
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Gosh, when I have an ingredient like that I take a small bit and taste it.

That taste may not tell you how much to add, but it well tell you how strong the tastes are.

And as always taste as you are cooking.

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Old 03-25-2008, 12:26 PM   #12
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I use the paste too. That way you can control the taste really well.

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Old 03-25-2008, 01:06 PM   #13
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Another substitute

I never seem to have either filets or paste on hand.
I substitute a little Vietnamize fish sauce (Nuc Mam) which I always keep on hand. 1/4 to 1/2 tsp to start. At that amount, it is very subtle, but adds some of the anchovy flavor. It comes in liter bottles for about 3 bucks, and, in spite of using it regularly, I usually throw out half of it and replace it, when it hits expiration in about 3 years.

My favorite is 3 crabs brand. Squid brand is also good.

Just don't smell it in the bottle. Kinda pungeant
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:28 PM   #14
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You can always add a bit more, but getting anchovy paste out of a dressing is not going to be fun. Start small and add to taste.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:11 PM   #15
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Anchovy vs. paste research

I joined here just to add to this discussion. This was the best discussion I found online so here I am. Looks like I should look around here a bit because I do and have interest on many topics discussed here.

I could not find a specific forum topic that fit this subject exactly so I am making my contribution here, where I found this originally.

Info is all over the place on this question. It is very aggravating that manufacturers of anchovy paste don’t tell you what the equivalents are. I have Amore’ brand anchovy paste in the pantry right now…nothing on the package, nothing on the web site about recipe equivalents…it’s really dumb for them not to provide this to the consumer, because it helps and if a person uses too much once, they may never buy it again.

I have searched a bit on this topic and it appears even the fine cooking magazines refuse to be specific on paste/anchovy equivalents from my findings. Oh, people love to write about it, but do not delve in to specifics. Just that it adds an unctuous umami flavor to recipes.

Amore’, that brand I have right now doesn’t even have a number to call, just a contact form where they want your name, address, phone number, bank account and SSN of your first born just to send them a question (OK the last two were a frustrated exaggeration).

There is a recipe on the inside of the Amore’ box for Caesar Salad. Not a recipe I follow because I use eggs in mine. It calls for 2 TABLESPOONS for one recipe of one head of romaine…yep I read it four times and checked the website too…2 TABLESPOONS! Granted the ingredients also say salt, sunflower oil and olive oil and I haven’t opened one to see how “loose” or “oily” it may be.

It is possible that different manufacturers have different levels of “filler” or additives that could affect the potency and flavor. Also I have read that anchovy paste is made from anchovies that were too inferior to sell whole, so there’s an argument for using actual anchovies. Problem for me is I use them in fits and spurts, not all the time, so that’s why I love the paste….easy peasy. Same with tomato paste.

Using Caesar Salad recipes as a basis, it looks like recipes call for anywhere from two to five or six anchovies per one head of romaine recipes. So with that knowledge, like smart folks here have advised; this is a “taste thing” and your mileage may vary from product to product. Even anchovies can vary in size from can, to jar, to…whatever…

Two places I found that have the guts to actually put out there what they deem as “equivalent” are What’s cooking America and About.com.

But What’s Cooking America contradicts itself to the tune of 50% or 200% depending on the way you look at it. They say mashed anchovies are the exact equivalent of anchovy paste 1 teaspoon mashed anchovies = 1 teaspoon anchovy paste. But then also says 1 anchovy fillet = 1/2 teaspoon mashed anchovy, then turn right around and say 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste = 2 anchovy fillets.

Again, it appears “your mileage may vary” on this stuff.

About.com also says 1 anchovy fillet = 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste AND 1 teaspoon mashed anchovies = 1 teaspoon anchovy paste. BUT adds the caveat, “but remember the paste has added vinegar and spices and is milder in flavor.” (Note that Uncle Bob, “Chef Extraordinaire” contradicts this earlier in this thread and he feels the flavor is stronger in his experience).

My Amore’ brand has no vinegar or spices other than salt, so there’s the “your mileage may vary” again.

Anchovy Recipes, Anchovy Paste Recipes, Whats Cooking America

Anchovy Equivalents, Measures, and Substitutions

For me, I will stick with the “1 anchovy fillet = 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste” formula for now. I have both anchovies and paste in the pantry. Someday I will mash some anchovies and do my own experiment, including taste potency equivalent. Maybe I’ll post it here if I start frequenting this site.

My Caesar Dressing recipe uses three anchovies so that would be 1 ½ teaspoon. I have used paste before but like a fool didn’t make notes on my recipe. I probably used less than 1 ½ teaspoon because it looks like so much and I don’t want the dressing to be fishy.

My Green Goddess recipe uses 2 anchovies. If you don’t make Green Goddess, you are missing out on one of the finest dressings of all. It’s the original dressing for the old school “wedge salad” but it is my favorite overall dressing. I grow parsley and usually end up with parsley “bushes” and discovered Green Goddess trying to use it.

I started my search for this topic today because I plan to make Shrimp Fra Diavolo. A recipe I found on America’s Test Kitchen, my favorite source for food tech. They really solve a lot of problems and do great product testing. I wish the full membership wasn’t so expensive though, but you get the current year’s show recipes for free if you sign up.

I DVR the PBS TV show. You can learn a lot watching it.

Here’s the recipe link: https://www.americastestkitchen.com/...pe_feature_19#

That recipe could have landed me in the seafood forum topic but I could not decide where to share this research I did. I hope this is helpful or at least entertaining for some folks.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:08 PM   #16
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oh dear. using paste out of a tube I working in "inches of squirt...."
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:31 PM   #17
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Thanks Chef Kenny. Your post was entertaining along with educational. The only usage I have ever seen for anchovy paste or filets is in Italian cooking. I have friends that wouldn't dream of making a tomato sauce without one or the other.

Now welcome to DC. As you have seen I am sure, this place is full of very useful information. And you have now added to it. What better way to join an internet discussion. Glad to see you here.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:17 PM   #18
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To be frank anchovy paste is basically the 'dredges' cleaned up after whole anchovies have been canned in countries like VN. There is no faster way to turn someone off a classic Caesar salad then to use anchovy paste. Just don't bother making the salad.
There is literally zero comparison between best quality jarred anchovies like Ortiz from Spain and the stuff you buy in a tube from VN.
Really. It's like serving someone powdered eggs compared to free range eggs.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:01 PM   #19
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I never thought of “inches of squirt” as a measurement! That falls in to the category of “eyeballing it” which I do a heck of a lot of. I’m trying to do less of it so I can more accurately reproduce certain dishes, but it goes against another methodology I have in my head of being able to look at what I have on hand and create a great meal with no recipe at all. Both have their merits.


Thanks for the welcome! That’s a good point about anchovy being a very Italian ingredient. I make Kimchi at home, and a lot of recipes for Kimchi include shrimp paste and even raw oysters. Even though I love raw oysters on the half shell, I can’t bring myself to use them in a countertop fermented recipe like Kimchi. BUT, many recipes also include fish sauce, which of course is anchovy based or similarly fish concentrated base. Now that you mention this “Italian only” thing, I might have to try using some anchovy paste in my Kimchi for that bit of umami my kimchi lacks because I don’t use shrimp paste or sauce.

Thanks for prodding my head to a new idea.


I totally get the highbrow point of view on food ingredients. I would love to stock my fridge with nothing but organic and products from Whole Foods and the like, but not only do I not have that kind of money, I also come from a totally different point of view that you CAN make very good food with not necessarily the “toppest” of top line ingredients. A good cook can work wonders with whatever he or she has available.

But then again, along with finer foods; I also enjoy a couple good Nathan’s hot dogs once in a while as well as some good ole Carolina liver pudding, liver mush, scrapple and good boudin of which I also make and stuff my own at home. So I’m no stranger to the “butcher floor scraps” foods that many raise their noses high in the air and extend pinky’s as they rise above such “tripe”.

As far as not even making the Caesar Salad. I have to respectfully disagree. Maybe you can make me a salad dressing that will make me walk away from any other forgeries and perhaps I’m just not refined enough to know the difference; but I have made dressings WITH anchovy paste that I cannot tell the difference from when I used anchovies…but then again I have never spent the money on Ortiz. I do know that I have made dressings that are at least as good if not better than some I have had at restaurants that purport to be somewhat upscale and very proud of their chefs. In fact, I have yet to encounter a Green Goddess dressing anywhere that is as good as what I make. In my opinion of course.

With that said, you have set a fresh challenge in my head. I will in fact buy some Ortiz anchovies. Do you use the canned or jarred, or does it matter? They look delicious. I can eat anchovies literally straight up. If these are THAT good I may make room in my budget for a taste of the good stuff…and you may in fact convert me.

Thanks for commenting to all.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:37 PM   #20
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I can't taste the difference between anchovy fillets and anchovy paste. I use they same units of measure as dcSaute, inches of paste. I figure two to three inches of paste = 1 anchovy fillet.

Chef Kenny, you are so right about Green Goddess dressing. My husband is famous for his, among our friends. They love it whether he uses anchovy fillets or paste. BTW, I now buy anchovy fillets in a jar. They stay fresh for a long time, as opposed to the ones in the can, once the can is opened. I just make sure to top up the oil as I take fillets out of the jar, so they are always submerged. They go off when exposed to air.

Puffin, I don't know what kind of anchovy paste you have come across. It doesn't sound like the stuff I buy.

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