List of food pastes

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This is a list of notable food pastes. A food paste is a semi-liquid colloidal suspension, emulsion, or aggregation used in food preparation or eaten directly as a spread.[1] Pastes are often spicy or aromatic, prepared well in advance of actual usage, and are often made into a preserve for future use. Common pastes are curry pastes, fish pastes, some fruit preserves, legume pastes and nut pastes. Purées, however, are food pastes made from already cooked ingredients, as in the case of cauliflower purée, or raw, as in the case of apple purée.

Food pastes[edit]

Fish and seafood[edit]

Lengkare shrimp paste in Lombok Island, Indonesia
A tub of uncured fish surimi ready for finish-processing
  • Muria – concentrated garum (fermented fish sauce) evaporated down to a thick paste with salt crystals was called muria;[3] it would have been rich in protein, amino acids, minerals and B vitamins.[4]
  • Jakoten
  • Ngapi
  • Pissalat
  • Prahok
  • Shrimp paste – made from fermented ground shrimp, either from fresh shrimp or dried ones, with the addition of salt. Prepared shrimp paste often has oil, sugar, garlic, chili, and other spices added.
  • Surimi – refers to a paste made from fish or other meat and also refers to a number of Asian foods that use surimi as their primary ingredients

Fruit and vegetable[edit]

  • Àmàlà – a Nigerian specialty paste made using yams, it is thick and brown
  • Baba ghanoush – an eggplant (aubergine) based paste
  • Date paste – used as a pastry filling
  • Funge de bombo – a manioc paste used in northern Angola, and elsewhere in Africa
  • Guava paste
  • Hilbet – a paste made in Ethiopia and Eritrea from legumes, mainly lentils or faba beans, with garlic, ginger and spices.[5]
  • Hummus – made from chickpeas with the addition of tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.[6]
  • Moretum
  • Pesto
  • Quince cheese
  • Ssamjang – a Korean, sesame and bean based paste used as a sauce on meat
  • Tapenade - made from olives ground with anchovies or capers, spices and olive oil
  • Tomato paste – made from boiling tomatoes until they form a thick paste which is stored for later use in soups, sauces and stews.[7]


  • Farina
  • Millet paste – consumed by the Fula people in the Sahel and West Africa.[8] It is a main ingredient in nyiiri, a common Fula dish that is prepared using millet paste and a thick sauce.[8]
  • Pamonha – a traditional Brazilian paste made from fresh corn and milk.
  • Polenta
  • Mealy pop or bogobe – prepared from ground grain usually maize or millet and often fermented before cooking.[9]

Instant soup[edit]

Erbswurst is a traditional instant pea soup from Germany in a consensed paste


A pancake filled with red bean paste


Pâté spread atop bread

Nut and seed[edit]

Spices and herbs[edit]


Red kroeung paste


Phanaeng curry paste is fried with coconut cream to make the curry more creamy in flavor


Yeast extracts[edit]

Marmite spread on toasted bread

Yeast extracts, usually as byproduct from brewing beer,[16] are made into food pastes, usually dark-brown in color.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2012). The Culinarian: A Kitchen Desk Reference. New York: Wiley. p. 409. ISBN 978-1-118-11061-4.
  2. ^ Lee, Cherl-Ho; Steinkraus, Keith H. & Reilly, P. J. (1993). Fish Fermentation Technology. New York: United Nations University Press. ISBN 978-89-7053-003-1.
  3. ^ Saberi, Helen, ed. (2011). "Roman fish sauce. An experiment in archaeology". Cured, Smoked, and Fermented: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food. Prospect Books, Oxford Symposium, 2011. p. 121. ISBN 9781903018859.
  4. ^ Curtis, Robert I. (1984) "Salted Fish Products in Ancient Medicine". Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, XXXIX, 4:430-445.
  5. ^ "Spaghetti silsie, or spicy fragrant tomato pasta sauce (Eritrea)". Vegventures. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012.
  6. ^ Zubaida, Sami (2000). "National, Communal and Global Dimensions in Middle Eastern Food Cultures". In Zubaida, Sami; Tapper, Richard (eds.). A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-86064-603-4.
  7. ^ Kipfer 2012, p. 561
  8. ^ a b Regis, H.A. (2002). Fulbe Voices: Marriage, Islam, And Medicine In Northern Cameroon. Westview case studies in anthropology. Avalon Publishing. p. pt54. ISBN 978-0-8133-4706-6. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  9. ^ Akinrele, I. A. (2006). "Fermentation studies on maize during the preparation of a traditional african starch-cake food". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 21 (12): 619–625. doi:10.1002/jsfa.2740211205.
  10. ^ Kipfer 2012, p. 412
  11. ^ Kipfer 2012, p. 354
  12. ^ Russell 1995, p. 327
  13. ^ McGee 2004, p. 514
  14. ^ Kipfer 2012, p. 241
  15. ^ Jones, David (2011). Candy Making For Dummies. New York: Wiley. pp. 65–68. ISBN 978-1-118-05461-1.
  16. ^ Sombutyanuchit, P.; Suphantharika, M.; Verduyn, C. (2001). "Preparation of 5′-GMP-rich yeast extracts from spent brewer's yeast". World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 17 (2): 163–168. doi:10.1023/A:1016686504154. S2CID 82000729.

External links[edit]