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Fish sauce is a fermented liquid condiment used in many Southeast Asian cuisines to add a salty and umami depth to a wide variety of dishes. Its appeal spans continents—the Romans also loved fish sauce, or garum, still in use today with the modern moniker colatura di alici.
Be bold! While its aroma can be quite pungent, it is the ultimate flavor booster—it adds richness and complexity to everything it is added to. Even a small amount can change a dish. A dressing or soup who’s flavor falls flat? A few dashes of fish sauce will add funky richness.
This one from Red Boat is made in Vietnam from black anchovies and sea salt, barrel-aged using a centuries-old fermentation tradition.
Ingredients: Anchovy, Sea Salt.
3.38 fl. oz. (100 ml)
“Fish sauce is the salty, funky key to Asian cooking … A tablespoon or two adds an incredible depth to stocks, vinaigrettes, marinades, and sauces …” try it in Thai Chicken Breasts with Coconut Milk and Lemongrass (p. 38), the Vietnamese Ginger Chicken (p. 42), and the Sticky Tamarind Chicken with Crisp Lettuce (p. 48).
McFadden claims fish sauce, “… is one of my all-time favorite flavors.” Try it in the Pine Nut Vinaigrette (p. 40) and the Fried Cauliflower with Spicy Fish-Sauce Sauce (p. 194).
Turshen uses fish sauce to add a rich, salty flavor to a variety of dishes, "... I like to think of [it] as the Southeast-Asian equivalent of Worcestershire sauce ..." Use it in Turshen's Ribs with Gochujang, Fish Sauce + Honey (page 155) and Slightly Vietnamese Braised Chicken (p. 173). She recommends Red Boat Fish sauce specifically.