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Fish Sauce - What You Must Know

Fish Sauce - What You Must Know

Good fish sauces are made from a mixture of fish and salt that has been allowed to ferment for up to two years. Traditionally, oily fish corresponding to anchovies are placed in a barrel with salt and slowly pressed to extract the liquid. Anchovies are sometimes used, although some fish sauces are additionally made from shrimp, krill, or mackerel. The essential ingredients of a very good fish sauce are fish, water, and salt. Typically sugars resembling caramel or molasses are added, or roasted rice, however it isn't necessary.


Fish sauce is referred to as nam pla in Thailand, teuk trei in Cambodia, nam pa in Laos, patis in the Philippines, and ngan bya yay in Burma. Despite its widespread use and first identification with Asian cuisine, fish sauce is believed up to now back to the traditional Greeks who fished along the Black Sea; the Romans called it garum.

Fish Sauce vs. Oyster Sauce
It could be straightforward to confuse these because of their briny, saucy relatedities, but they are definitely different products. Fish sauce is watery, clear, and salty. Oyster sauce is sweeter with a hint of salt; it's made by reducing oyster extracts. Its aroma shouldn't be as strong as that of fish sauce.


Fish Sauce Uses
Nam pla is one of those ingredients that adds what could seem like a sure indescribable element to a number of Asian dishes, but as soon as you start to work with it, you can detect its presence and develop a sense of how you can balance its flavor in recipes for marinades, dipping sauces, and stir-fries. It is key to the dipping sauce nuoc cham in Vietnamese delicacies, for example, where it's combined with lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chiles.


What Does It Taste Like?
Fish sauce tastes fishy and salty, and a little bit enjoyableky, but in a good way. It's often used with lime juice and different ingredients, which aids in balancing out the flavor and aroma. Since it's not always used by itself as a stand-alone product, it does not necessarily make a dish style "fishy," unless it's utilized in excess. It adds that savory umami element. Just a drop or two, for example, is commonly added to noodle dishes like a condiment, on the table, to amplify the flavors a bit.

Fish Sauce Recipes
Asian food prioritizes the balance among various taste components, and dishes with fish sauce often can have a bitter and sweet element in them, too, to balance the taste. Fish sauce is key to stir-fried dishes; it's an ingredient in pad thai recipes, along with tamarind paste.

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