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Old 01-03-2012, 12:41 PM   #21
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I agree with Jen. The first time I bought fish sauce, the first thing I did was taste it. I needed to know how it would impact the recipe I was making. The taste is not unpleasant. Just keep in mind it's an ingredient similar in effect to soy sauce.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I'm talking tasting like a teaspoon of it at a time.

Not sure how you can use an ingredient if you don't taste it on its own.
The way I was taught by the Chef I worked for was to make a dish without one ingredient and then taste it with the ingredient and without, without being tried first.

That way you can experience the actual difference that one ingredient makes in that specific dish.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
The way I was taught by the Chef I worked for was to make a dish without one ingredient and then taste it with the ingredient and without, without being tried first.

That way you can experience the actual difference that one ingredient makes in that specific dish.
Sounds like a pretty good method.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #24
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I'm talking tasting like a teaspoon of it at a time.

Not sure how you can use an ingredient if you don't taste it on its own.
Well, cooked fish sauce tastes entirely different than it does from the bottle, and fish sauce used at the table is usually diluted with water, along with lime juice, sugar, and sometimes chilies (Nuoc Cham)
It's kinda the equivalent of tasting raw chicken so you know how to use it as an ingredient.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #25
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Sounds like a pretty good method.
It taught me a lot. Henri had a big ole wooden spoon in his apron pocket that he would whack me on the head with if I couldn't tell him what ingredient was missing! I got whacked plenty, but I learned a lot about seasoning that way.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:01 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
The way I was taught by the Chef I worked for was to make a dish without one ingredient and then taste it with the ingredient and without, without being tried first.

That way you can experience the actual difference that one ingredient makes in that specific dish.


We did that in culinary school but only after tasting the ingredient by itself first.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #27
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We did that in culinary school but only after tasting the ingredient by itself first.
Henri showed me how the absence of only one small amount of one seasoning can make a real difference in flavor of the final outcome. Sometimes, the dish would be very good without it, but with it, it had a subtle flavor waaaay in the background that showed itself after swallowing, in the nose on an exhale. The one that was always the most surprising to me was lemon juice added in drops. Try a bite of grilled salmon some time and then add just a drop of lemon juice to the meat and wipe it around the entire piece. You wouldn't think one drop of lemon juice could make much difference, but it really, really does. A back-of-the-tongue citrus aftertaste that really helps the flavor of the salmon come out.

The same thing with bean dishes and lemon juice. Quite a difference!
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
Henri showed me how the absence of only one small amount of one seasoning can make a real difference in flavor of the final outcome. Sometimes, the dish would be very good without it, but with it, it had a subtle flavor waaaay in the background that showed itself after swallowing, in the nose on an exhale. The one that was always the most surprising to me was lemon juice added in drops. Try a bite of grilled salmon some time and then add just a drop of lemon juice to the meat and wipe it around the entire piece. You wouldn't think one drop of lemon juice could make much difference, but it really, really does. A back-of-the-tongue citrus aftertaste that really helps the flavor of the salmon come out.

The same thing with bean dishes and lemon juice. Quite a difference!

I agree totally that lemon juice is outstanding and IMO underappreciated!
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by jennyema

I agree totally that lemon juice is outstanding and IMO underappreciated!
When I asked a friend if she wanted me to mule something down with us on our recent trip to Mexico, she requested Realemon juice! The stuff in the bottle! Apparently, while limes are all over in Mexico, lemons are almost unheard of. I've always used them interchangeably, though the flavors are different.

Same friend requested fish fertilizer to be brought down awhile ago. As they live on the ocean, with fresh fish in abundance, I had to give her a hard time, and recommended the old Indian trick of burying a dead fish at the base of her plants.

Hmmm. Maybe shoulda brought her some fish sauce. Would have served dual purposes.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:57 PM   #30
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dawg, i hope you meant to smuggle the lemon juice in your luggage.

to mule something means to carry something in a body cavity, swallowed or inserted.
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