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Tapenade: Fish sauce instead of anchovies?

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Making The French Laundry's roasted tomato tarts for some company tonight. Neglected to read the recipe thoroughly enough ahead of time.

The tapenade is basically just anchovies, olives, and oil. My anchovies are the wrong kind (oil-packed vs. salted) and I don't have milk to soak them in. Also, the can is a tiny bit plump-looking and I may just be paranoid but I don't want botulism.

Since fish sauce is basically anchovy juice, couldn't I just use a few dashes of that instead (paying attention to avoid thinning it too much)?

I think I'm going to go ahead and do it, I just always feel the need to ask for second opinions when I deviate from unfamiliar recipes!

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  1. I make tapenade all the time and you're fine. If it's only a question of whether the anchovies you have will work, I say go with the anchovies, for both the flavor and the texture. It's fine that they're oil-packed. The botulism option is a whole nother thing, though...I think you have to judge that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rcallner

      Worked fine with the fish sauce! I'll be better prepared and use real anchovies next time.

      1. re: sonia darrow

        Interesting! I'm going to widen my fish sauce horizons.

        1. re: rcallner

          I didn't use the same volume of fish sauce as I would have of anchovies-- I just added a few drizzles, then tasted and added more.