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Old 01-15-2008, 05:11 PM   #1
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Anchovies, can I use Thai Fish Sauce instead?

I would like to work some Anchovy into my cooking, like Molto Mario and others do. Adding maybe just one fillet to give "background" flavor. However, I never have fillets on hand, and I tried anchovy paste once, but it really only tasted "salty". I do keep Thai Fish Sauce on hand for soups. Does anyone know if it will work and what amount? Maybe 1tsp. = 1 fillet?
Thanks, Eric Austin TX.

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Old 01-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #2
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Hey Eric,,, do you have World Market's down in Austin, we have them here in the DFW area and I was able to get anchovies that way. I don't know how well fish sauce would substitue. But I do use the paste from time to time in dressings and what not and just recently found the bottled variety of anchovies at World Market.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:38 PM   #3
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Tinned anchovies do taste quite a bit different than fish sauce, but they still both add umami to what you are cooking.

I'd suggest adding a very small amount of fish sauce and see if you like it. And see if it changes the tenor of whatever you are making. You don't wat spaghetti sauce to taste like Thai food.

But I would also suggest buying a glass jar of high quality anchovies. You can keep them for quite a while in the fridge. IMO anchovies will give you a superior back note that you are looking for.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:44 PM   #4
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I do this every now and then, and have had excellent results.
Also try tempering the fish sauce with a bit of sugar or honey, perhaps
1 tsp to each Tbsp or less.... it is excellent too!
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:07 PM   #5
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I completely - but respectfully - disagree.

Although Thai Fish Sauce is frequently made from fermented anchovies (&/but sometimes squid), it is not remotely close to anchovies in flavor & can't be subbed for anchovies in Italian dishes. If you were asking if you could sub Thai Fish Sauce for soy sauce in an Asian recipe, I'd say go for it, since it's somewhat similar, albeit lighter & with more flavor, than soy. But subbing Thai Fish Sauce ("nam pla") for anchovies in an Italian recipe? I don't think so.

Keep a few tins of anchovies in your cupboard & use them asap in recipes, as well as on salads, deviled eggs, etc., etc. Leftovers fare very very well in the fridge in a small jar (I save small glass pimiento & caviar jars specifically for this purpose) topped to cover with some olive oil.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Tinned anchovies do taste quite a bit different than fish sauce, but they still both add umami to what you are cooking.

I'd suggest adding a very small amount of fish sauce and see if you like it. And see if it changes the tenor of whatever you are making. You don't wat spaghetti sauce to taste like Thai food.

But I would also suggest buying a glass jar of high quality anchovies. You can keep them for quite a while in the fridge. IMO anchovies will give you a superior back note that you are looking for.

i agree about anchovies . i don't think fish sauce will give u the same taste, course u could always have on hand for pizza. i love em.

babetoo
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:30 PM   #7
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Goodness - how did I miss Jennyema's great advice!!

By all means, if you can obtain them, buy the glass jars of anchovy filets. Use a clean utensil to fish out what you need, & top the jar off with olive oil to cover the remaining filets if necessary. They last wonderfully in the fridge.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:33 PM   #8
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Fish sauce is a fermented product and MUCH stronger then anchovies. I would not substitute.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:38 PM   #9
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You can get those glass jars at World Market if you have one in the area.
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:34 AM   #10
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Worcestershire sauce contains anchovy, and works well in some recipes. If using fish sauce, I'd go even less than you mentioned, it is very strong. Maybe 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Also, anchovy is available in a paste form, in a tube. It has a long shelf life if kept in the fridge.
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