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12 Best Lobster Bases For Amazing Meals

A base is the foundational and flavorful part of a lobster dish, with ginger mayonnaise, corn succotash, or hollandaise sauce.

Many restaurants have lobster bases on their menus that come in various flavors and consistencies for almost every imaginable combination. You can also make your own at home as a cheaper alternative to going out to eat.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to come by the necessary ingredients needed to make a dish that calls for a lobster base in it.

You may not be able to afford it, or maybe the one ingredient is not easily accessible. In those cases, it is good to know about lobster substitutes.

We have prepared an entire list of things that can be used as a substitute for the lobster base. Let’s check it out!

Nutritional Value Table

Substitutes For Lobster BaseCalories
Miso199
Tomato Paste82
Clam Base240
Fish Sauce35
Crab Base97
Shrimp Base84
Mussels Base146
Bouillon Cube438
Lobster Pate130
Worcestershire Sauce78
Dashi Stock438
Langoustine Base9

Substitutes For Lobster Base

1.  Miso

Miso lobster base substitute

A great alternative to the lobster base is miso. Miso is a Japanese preparation made from fermenting soybeans, sea salt, and rice or barley. It has a salty taste that will help you replicate the flavor of lobster without breaking the bank.

For example, you can use miso to make a creamy chowder or a warm bacon-wrapped miso scallop dish! You can also serve miso as a dipping sauce for lobster.

The options are endless, especially since you don’t have to purchase lobster to enjoy the benefits of miso!

How To Substitute

For each 1 oz. of the lobster base, you will need 3 tablespoons of miso.

2.  Tomato Paste

 Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is another budget-friendly alternative to lobster base. It can be used in various dishes, including soups, sauces, and even desserts.

There are times when you may not need to use an entire can or jar of tomato paste – this is where substituting it for lobster comes in handy!

All you have to do is replace the tomato paste with a few drops of water (or water-based liquid) for each ounce of lobster. Just make sure that you don’t add too much water if you’re cooking something like a stew or soup.

How To Substitute

For each 1 oz. of lobster base, you will need 3 tablespoons of tomato paste plus 1 tablespoon of water.

3. Clam Base

Clam Base

Another seafood-based alternative is clam base. Clams are also very popular; you can find them practically anywhere, making them a great replacement for the lobster base.

The best part about using clam base is that it can be used to make many dishes, including soups and stews.
For example, you can use a clam base to stew scallops or mussels with fresh herbs and spices. You may even use it as the broth for your lobster chowder!

How To Substitute

For each 1 oz. of lobster base, you will need 3 tablespoons of clam base plus 1 tablespoon of water.

4. Fish Sauce

Tomato Paste

Fish sauce is a popular ingredient in many Asian countries – it’s commonly used as a flavoring and condiment. It’s made from fermented fish, which gives it its distinctive flavor.

Fish sauce can be stored for a long time and can be used in many dishes, including pasta, curry sauces, and even desserts! Since fish sauce has such a strong flavor, you may not need to use it as much as a lobster base.

How To Substitute

For each 2-tablespoons of the lobster base, you will need 1 tablespoon of fish sauce.

5. Crab Base

Crab Base

Crab base is a popular seafood ingredient in the US. It is made from small pieces of crab meat that are coarsely chopped with shells and cartilage. The crab meat is combined with a little bit of mayonnaise, and it’s also used as a dip for seafood.

Kennebec Crab Bases are usually made from 50% Kennebec Crab Meat, 50% Water, 5% Dried Whey Powder, 5% Corn Starch, 0.5% Salt, 0.5% Spice, and 0.1% Xanthan Gum (by weight).

The rest of the ingredients are sodium phosphate (to maintain moisture), calcium chloride to keep the color pink or red, and citric acid to keep the color bright.

How To Substitute

If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of the lobster base, use 0.75 teaspoons of crab base or a little less than half the amount.

6. Shrimp Base

Shrimp Base

Shrimp base is also an inexpensive type of seafood concentrate made from shrimp heads and shells. It has a very strong shrimp smell and can be used to make soups, sauces, or dips for seafood.

The most common brand of shrimp base is called Dehydrated Shrimp with Vegetable Base (aka “Shrimp-Lips” Shrimp Base) by Huy Fong Foods (of Sriracha fame). The ingredients are water, sugar, salt, garlic powder, and monosodium glutamate.

How To Substitute

If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of the lobster base, use 1.5 teaspoons of shrimp base or double the amount.

7. Mussels Base

Mussels Base

Mussel base is the most common non-lobster seafood base ingredient used in US cuisine.

It’s made from flakes of dehydrated mussels that are slightly browned and seasoned with monosodium glutamate and disodium inosinate (as a meat flavor enhancer) to enhance the flavor. It is commonly used in cream soups, gravy sauces, and casseroles.

How To Substitute

If you want to make a similar recipe, use the same amount of mussel base as the lobster base recipe calls for.

8. Bouillon Cube

lobster base substitute

Bouillon cubes are also referred to as chicken cubes or beef cubes. They can be used as a base for seafood recipes. Bouillon cubes are made from deli chicken or beef, which is cooked and dehydrated until it is somewhat firm.

The dried meat contains salt, spices, and MSG. You would have to look for one without MSG, but many brands of bouillon cubes use it by default.

How To Substitute

If you want to make a similar recipe, use the same amount of bouillon cube as the lobster base recipe calls for. In most recipes that call for a bouillon cube, you will have to reduce the amount of broth called for by one cup (and possibly more).

9. Lobster Pate

lobster base substitute

Canned lobster pate is sometimes used as a base for seafood recipes. It’s made from lobster meat which has been chopped up, dried, and seasoned with salt and sometimes other spices.

The canned version usually contains some chicken or beef stock as well in the base because it’s naturally salty.

How To Substitute

If you want to make a similar recipe, use the same amount of lobster pate as the lobster base recipe calls for. To substitute, simply increase the amount of binder (chopped cooked meat) by one pound per pound of pate called for in the recipe (if you are making 10 pounds of pate). You will also have to add more sodium.

10. Worcestershire Sauce

lobster base substitute

Worcestershire sauce is a product that contains a large number of anchovies and seawater (often from the Mediterranean Sea).

It used to be made with anchovies and vinegar, but now it is often made with anchovies and vegetable oil. Worcestershire sauce is sometimes used as a base for seafood recipes.

How To Substitute

If you want to make a similar recipe, use the same amount of Worcestershire sauce as the lobster base recipe calls for. You will have to reduce the amount of salt called for by one or two teaspoons. If you want to substitute with another seafood base ingredient, reduce the amount of Worcestershire sauce by one cup (and possibly more).

11. Dashi Stock

lobster base substitute

Dashi stock is a type of stock or soup base made from kelp and kombu seaweed. It is used primarily as a base for miso soup but also as a base for seafood recipes.

Dashi stock is available in tins, jars, and cans. Kombu seaweed/kelp powder and bonito flakes are usually added to the dashi stock.

How To Substitute

If you want to make a similar recipe, you can use 4-5 tablespoons of Dashi Stock (or 6 tablespoons each of Dashi Stock and Miso paste) for each pound called for in the recipe (if you are making 8 pounds of the dish).

12. Langoustine Base

lobster base substitute

Langoustine is another name for the Norway lobster. The langoustine has a delicately sweet flavor and is not as fishy as the common lobster.

Langoustine bases are made from dehydrated langoustines, which are similar to mussel bases. They contain MSG, chicken or beef broth, salt, fat, and flavoring agents.

How To Substitute

If you want to make a similar recipe, use the same amount of langoustine base as the lobster base recipe calls for. If you’re using it in a stew or chowder recipe, start with a little less than two cups and add more if needed at the end of cooking time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Lobster Base Substitute?

A lobster base substitute is a recipe where you add water to your dish instead of using the actual lobster stock. This can be done with meat or vegetables.

You should use a liquid base or water as a seafood base substitute for seafood dishes since seafood cooks better in liquid.

If you would like to add mushrooms to your dish, for example, you would use mushroom broth as your seafood base substitute for that dish.

What Can I Use As A Substitute For The Lobster Base?

If you are not in the mood for an all-crust meal, there are many different types of ingredients that might dampen your cravings and make substituting easier: fish stock, clam juice, cream sauce, or even adding mushrooms or scallions.

Should I Cook My Bases With Intense Spiciness?

There is no shame in using a milder spice for your dish. The more sophisticated the main ingredient of your meal, the less likely you are to use lobster base.

For example, if you are creating a March Madness meal or something similar or simply making a delicate dish like a fish stew or bouillabaisse with shellfish as the main ingredient, then perhaps you don’t need as much lobster base.

On the other hand, if you are creating an American-style classic like fajitas or meatloaf with lots of onion and peppers, then you probably need more.

What Is The Difference Between A Lobster Base Substitute Recipe And An Actual Lobster Base?

When you make a lobster base substitute, you take the actual lobster stock out of the pot with the shells and meat and replace it with your liquid base or water.

The difference is that this will change how it tastes in every dish where it is used. There will be no more big chunks of shell and meat; it will be more like the actual stock when you remove the shells.

Does It Matter If I Cook The Stock Before Or After I Use A Base?

When you use a vegetable or meat base, you can cook the seafood in your liquid base and then add your liquid base to your dish when you season it with salt and pepper.

This will keep the seafood from overcooking, which is especially important for lobster meat.

You should not put seafood into a hot liquid as this will cause the shellfish to break down and become mushy.

We recommend warming up your liquid first by adding boiling water at low heat, to begin with, then adding it to your dish at a lower temperature once it has cooled down.

12 Best Lobster Bases For Amazing Meals

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Looking for a vegan or GF lobster base substitute? Our variety of options will fit your needs.

Ingredients

  • Miso

  • Clam Base

  • Clam Base

  • Fish Sauce

  • Crab Base

  • Shrimp Base

  • Mussels Base

  • Bouillon Cube

  • Lobster Pate

  • Worcestershire Sauce

  • Dashi Stock

  • Langoustine Base

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio
Jess Smith