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.
Unopened, shrimp paste keeps almost indefinitely without refrigeration. Once opened, store in a tightly closed jar.