Vegan Shito

If there is anything I have been dying to veganize, it has been this recipe. Before going vegan, I use to slather this sauce on everything. Rice, stir-fry, any form of carb, basically if it was savoury and not liquid-y, I will add shito on it. So it was unfortunate to not enjoy my favourite hot sauce when I went vegan because it was chalk full of dried fish and shrimp and I could not crack the code on what I can use to substitute.

But after consulting with a fellow Ghanaian vegan veghanaian who mentioned using dried nori and reading the comments on a popular Ghanaian food page about other possible substitutes, I thought, let us just try and see what I can do about it.

With a bit of of intuition and luck, I got it down and it has changed my meal experience. It pairs with a lot of things as a nice condiment and honestly, a game changer. I am going to stop talking now and go straight to the recipe.


  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 100g ginger
  • 150g onion
  • 60g garlic
  • 4 scotch bonnet pepper*
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1.5 tbsp of dried mushroom and nori mix (I pulvarized three dried shiitake mushrooms and 3 nori sheets in a coffee grind till it was a fine powder)
  • 1/2 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp veggie stock powder
  • 1 tsp Ghanaian spice mix. If you don’t have access to this, you can substitute with garam masala or curry powder (both give a nice savoury flavour)

* you can add less if you do not want it to be spicy

  1. Heat the oil till it is hot but not burning 
  2. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 5 mins till it looks fried, keeping the pot at medium heat.
  3. Blend the mixture of onion, ginger, garlic, scotch bonnet and 1/2 cup water in a blender. The less amount of water the better because it will be dryer and allow the shito to cook faster
  4. Once you have blended the onion mixture add it to the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook at medium low for 25 mins, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn 
  5. After the 25 mins, add in spices as well as the nori and mushroom blend
  6. Cook at low for another 25 mins covered, stirring occasionally.
  7. After 25 mins, remove the cover and let the shito cook for an additional 10 mins uncovered. This further reduces the shito and allows it to be drier.
And make sure to pin the recipe

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