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Old 02-26-2006, 12:33 PM   #1
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Question about Fish Sauce

I have noticed this ingredient in many recipes, especially, asian type dishes. What is this? What does it do for flavor? Is there anything that can be substitued for this?

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Old 02-26-2006, 12:34 PM   #2
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Why would you want to substitute something for it? Fish sauce is fantastic. Shouldn't be too hard for you to get ahold of some. As for what it does to flavor, it's salty and tasty, used like soy sauce. Though i only add it while cooking or in sauces, i have never added it to cooked food.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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The reason that I asked about substitution is that I live in an area that doesn't have a lot of things that are easily found in cities.
I have to order things online or drive more than 30 miles for one thing and it's not worth the cost of gas.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:50 PM   #4
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Texasgirl, if you plan on cooking alot of asian dishes i reccomend you order some online. It's good solid stuff, and vital in quite a few dishes.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:15 PM   #5
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Hi TX GL:

I love and use fish sauce everyday. I like the brand that has three crabs on the label.
It smells to High Heaven in the bottle but it adds another level of seasoning to anything i is added to.

A small amount goes a long way and I add to dishes where salt is needed. Not only Asian dishes but soups, stews, chile, salad dressings made from scratch.

It is made by layering fish and salt in large casks and letting it ferment for a few weeks. They drain the fish sauce from the bottom of the cask when the curing process is finished. Even the Romans made a similar sauce 2000 yrs ago.

I have been using it for many years, let me know if you have questions about this in the future.

The stuff has an infinite shelf life and is cheap in Asian Groceries - Buy several bottles
Bob
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:19 PM   #6
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TG:

It's good stuff and essential to a lot of Thai dishes. Next time you're in the big city, I'd recommend picking up a bottle. It's not costly and will last for a log time.

If I needed some and didn't have any, I think I'd leave it out rather than substituting.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:21 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!! I appreciate it!!
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:55 PM   #8
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I bet you can find it online somewhere too. It is an essential flavor in a lot of Thai dishes and other dishes as well. There really is no substitute. Alone it is not always a pleasant flavor, but in combination with other things it does great things to food
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:09 PM   #9
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I would agree with the above posters that there really isnt a substitute for real fish sauce. However, if you are having trouble finding it there are recipes for "mock fish sauce" that you can use in a pinch:

simmer for 10 minutes: 1 can drained anchovies + 2 cloves bruised and peeled garlic + 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar + 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1 1/4 cups water, then strain.

or

simmer for 10 minutes: 1 part soy sauce + 4 parts anchovies

or

soak anchovies from one small can (about 14 fillets) in 1 cup water, strain, then add 2 tablespoons soy sauce.

Hope that helps...
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:32 PM   #10
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Thank you again!!
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