A smelly (salty, fishy) paste made by grinding up salted, fermented shrimp. Dried shrimp paste is an essential ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking for flavoring and also to add protein to a dish. It is sold in cans, jars, slabs and cakes. Some shrimp pastes are sold in firm blocks that are cut into cubes or slices. Other types are a soft, thick paste. Dried shrimp paste is always cooked before eating. Use in seafood dishes, and also with beef, pork, poultry and vegetable recipes.
Ethnicity: Southeast Asian
Season: available year-round
How to store: Unopened, shrimp paste keeps almost indefinitely without refrigeration. Once opened, store in a tightly closed jar.