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Old 07-25-2012, 02:56 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
Just don't tell them. If they ask what that bottle is, tell them it's nam pla, a special Asian ingredient that makes the dish taste better.
If a person is allergic to fish, this might have dire consequences. I always ask if guests have any allergies or dislikes.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I'm opposed to hiding ingredient info from people I feed. Just on general principles.
I wouldn't hide ingredients from anybody either, but I don't see any point in waving it under their noses.

If somebody I'm cooking for asks me about ingredients I always tell them. (Most people other than cooking enthusiasts don't really care.)

I always tell guests what I intend to cook for dinner when inviting them over. I quiz them about any food dislikes. I have one friend who doesn't like cheese (or shrimp), and another who sometimes has an allergic reaction to certain shrimp (but not others). I have no interest in cooking for somebody if they aren't going to enjoy my cooking. I'd rather cook something they'll like, and whatever they didn't like I'll cook for somebody else or just cook it for myself.

But I still don't see any point in telling somebody "it's got fermented fish sauce!!!" unless they ask.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #23
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If a person is allergic to fish, this might have dire consequences. I always ask if guests have any allergies or dislikes.
I didn't see your post until I already replied to a post on the previous page...

As I already said, I usually quiz people about their likes and dislikes before cooking for them. I put a lot of work into my cooking, as probably most forum members do, and it's a waste of my time and effort and expense of ingredients to cook something that my guests won't enjoy.

When I quiz somebody about food likes and dislikes it's a reasonable time for them to mention food allergies and I'd be surprised if anybody who has such allergies would not bring it up at that time.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Mash up a few anchovies and mix them with couple of TBS of rice vinegar.

Thanks Sir _Loin (cute name BTW). I think an anchovie paste would add the flavor I'm looking for withing smelling up the house. Much appreciated advice. I'll add the rice vinegar too.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #25
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Eesta, I hope you will consider my advice to try a different brand. My fish sauce has less fishy aroma than anchovy paste. If you consider this, look for a fish sauce that is completely transparent (definitely no floating fishies inside) and perhaps a color of dark tea. The fishiness and fishy smell can vary widely between brands and between countries.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:09 AM   #26
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My husband is intolerant to soy (among so many other things). He uses fish sauce in place of soy sauce in everything - on rice, I use it in stir fries, etc. Of course there is no substitution for soy sauce (like there isn't for fish sauce), but he has found it very favourable as he has little choice.

If you really can't stand the smell, then water down some soy sauce or oyster sauce or whatever. Find what works for you
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:23 AM   #27
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I've used a couple of the suggestions mentioned (anchovy paste and oyster sauce). The try another brand thing wouldn't work for me .... ha-ha. When I first moved here there was no such thing, now we're lucky to have one on the shelves of one of the three chains in the Galena/Dubuque area. There used to be an Asian store in Dubuque, but lately any time we've gone they've been closed, so we haven't even tried in years. Maybe next time.

My biggest problem with fish sauce is almost every brand i've been able to get over the years come in large bottles, and I hate to give up that much fridge space to something I don't use very often. Then, too, I go to use it and it looks just gross and smells very, very, very strong after sitting on the shelf for a year or three. So I usually do make do with substitutes that I use more often.

Worcestershire sauce has some anchovy in it and in some things works.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:39 AM   #28
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It's easy for me to say "try another brand" considering that I have several large Asian markets within easy driving distance, and each of them carries 1-2 dozen different brands of fish sauce. (And that doesn't even include supermarkets, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.)

It's one of the reasons I live in the evil, big bad city. If it weren't for shopping I'd love to live where the antelopes roam. Or lizards, whatever...
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:03 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
Just don't tell them. If they ask what that bottle is, tell them it's nam pla, a special Asian ingredient that makes the dish taste better.
What if its noc nam?

Seriously, you better be sure your guests aren't allergic.
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