Fish sauce is essentially fermented fish. By itself, it’s savory and very salty and has that pungent fishy aroma. But on the contrary, it’s a perfect acidic and salty balance to any Southeast Asian cuisine. For many dishes, fish sauce is used as a substitute for salt and for adding that umami flavor.
Fish sauce if often used in pepper dipping sauces, papaya salad, pho, kao poon, stir fries and the list goes on. I, personally use fish sauce on a regular basis. It’s a must need ingredient and I never go without having this item in my kitchen.
My close friends know that I love eating salty foods so whenever we have dinner parties at their house, they always pull out fish sauce just for my use. Low key giving me side eyes that I eat too much salty foods. But I can’t help it! I love food, food is life, and what is life without fish sauce.
The following are the most common fish sauces used in Southeast Asian dishes that you can grab at your local Asian grocery store or from Amazon.
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The following is a recipe that includes fish sauce as an ingredient: