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An Asian paste made from grinding fermented shrimp and salt together, which may be dried to be shaped into cakes or kept in a soft, paste form. Made from shrimp meat that is either ground and salted or with meat placed whole in jars where it is allowed to ferment, shrimp paste has a very strong aroma and provides a very salty, fishy flavor when used in foods. It ranges in color from grayish-pink to brownish and is used sparingly in Asian soups, sauces, curries, marinades, and rice dishes so it does not overpower the flavor of the main ingredients being prepared.
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