I live in a rural area of Canada, asian markets aren't a thing around here. Since there isn't much good kimchi around, I decided to try myself !

I went to a largeish city a few weeks ago and was able to get this shrimp paste:


When doing my research, the product called for usually looks like this:


In the kimchi recipes I found, the shrimps are like the product above, whole and pink. However the product I bought is pasty/ground and grey. It is also Vietnamese rather than korean.

I cannot find the korean salted shrimps anywhere sadly, but this looked like a reasonable substitute to me. Would anybody with any kimchi-making experience knows if that shrimp paste would be suitable?


You don't need the shrimp paste to make kimchee. I don't think you would notice the difference if you left it out. Better to leave it out than use the paste you bought, which has a very strong and distinctive flavor.

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    My recipe calls for fish sauce rather than shrimp paste. There's a lot of variation, but you do need to treat your Napa cabbage/ Bok choy with salt to get it wilted. I use apples and mangos for the sugar content. – Wayfaring Stranger May 7 '19 at 23:24
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    The fish sauce is more important, but stuff like salted shrimp and squid are non-essential extras. You can even make a decent vegan kimchi without using the fish sauce. It'll taste like kimchi as long as you've got the garlic, ginger, gochugaru and scallions. – aris May 8 '19 at 4:13

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