Originally Posted by rodentraiser
I've looked for fish sauce before and could never find it. That's why I asked about Worcestershire sauce. And isn't there an anchovy sauce as well?
It's not hard to find these days, even in standard supermarkets. Most have "Taste of Thai" brand (which I don't recommend as a brand, but if you think for a second about what fish sauce IS, it's hard to imagine making a "bad" one: how exactly would it differ? :-)
An anchovy sauce? There's a whole universe of fish sauces
out there, starting with the Ancient Roman garum
made from fish guts and blood. It survives today as the Italian Colatura di Alici
, which is made from whole anchovies and may be the one you have in mind (either that, or the one called Anchovy Essence.) Worcestershire is mostly made from anchovies.
There are about fifty different Asian styles, but of standard styles, Red Boat 40N from Pho Quoc in Vietnam
is considered the pinnacle. To spot any good brand, look for one that contains only fish and salt as ingredients.
Once you embrace the funk, you can explore its outer limits, which would be Padaek
from Laos/Issan, a muddy-brown thick liquid with large lumps of fermented gourami-fish in it. I've bred gourami: they're wonderful fish. I've been staring at a bottle of the dang stuff for years now, and am still
not tempted to open it.