The Savory Swap For Anchovies In Caesar Salad Dressing

Did you know that Caesar salad recipes typically contain fish? Some ingredient lists leave them out, but anchovies are generally a hidden element amongst all the egg, lemon juice, and olive oil in a Caesar salad dressing. They're used to add tons of savory umami flavor, and may be one of the reasons some people love this type of dressing over other creamy types, like ranch. Originally, however, anchovies by themselves weren't part of Caesar salad, but consumers loved the taste of the hidden fish in Worcestershire sauce so much they wanted it to play a bigger role.

So if you're not a fan of the fish, there are other ways to get its flavor without including actual anchovies in your dressing. One of the easiest is to sub them out for fish sauce. This ingredient, frequently used in Asian recipes, is made from the leftover liquid that develops as a result of fermenting fish ... including anchovies. You'll still get all those savory, salty, fishy, umami flavors, but you won't have to go to the trouble of opening smelly tins of anchovies and chopping them. Plus, a liquid fish sauce blends in easily with dressing, while chunks of the real thing may be harder to evenly incorporate.

How to replace anchovies in Caesar salad dressing

Subbing out anchovies for fish sauce is an incredibly easy swap (as we mentioned, one of the reasons it's worth a shot). Instead of using an immersion (or regular) blender, which is often necessary to pulverize the fish, you can make your anchovy-free version with a whisk or a fork. Simply combine all the ingredients together in a bowl except for the oil, then whisk vigorously as you slowly drizzle in the oil so everything mixes together smoothly. You should only need a teaspoon or two in total, but taste the dressing on its own when you're done and use additional fish sauce as you see fit. Although Worcestershire sauce usually has anchovies in it, you can still include it in your dressing alongside fish sauce, since it's typically kept in dressing recipes that have anchovies.

If you want to get even more creative, there are a few other savory ingredients to dabble with in place of anchovies or fish sauce. Some recipes use anchovy paste, which you can buy at the grocery store in a tube, ready to go. You can also pour in some extra Worcestershire sauce, although the fishiness will take more of a backseat here. And while the flavors won't be exactly the same, miso paste, soy sauce, and blended dried mushrooms will also give you a strong punch of umami.