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Thai Fish Sauce

I never made it before but I have had the Thai Lettuce Wraps in restaurants. ...SO, I looked up a high reviewed Lettuce wrap recipe. It said to use Thai fish sauce. I bought some at my local grocery and proceeded to follow the recipe. I added the ginger, lime juice, and etc. I was told to warm it up on low heat...I did. "THEN"..The worse freekin' smell filled my house and I gagged a few times and threw the whole mess away....Is it me???

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  1. Fish sauce smells bad while cooking but tastes great. Ignore the smell...

    1. Thai fish sauce is super strong. Of course, it smells even more when it is warm. Vietnamese fish sauce is not as strong, IME.

      1. I am distrustful of a recipe that suggests you warm up a lime juice/fish sauce dressing. The heat would, I think, change the flavor of the lime, and throw off the balance of your dish (for instance, in making tom yum soup, you put the lime in only after you take it off heat).

        I would try it again without heating the dressing; and I'd taste before throwing out. Fish sauce smells far, far more pungent than it tastes. To my mind, the smell and taste almost having nothing to do with each other.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mary shaposhnik

          It's not uncommon to condiments based on fish sauce, I've seen prepartions where the sauce is actually served hot.

        2. Sounds like this is your first time using fish sauce.

          What brand of sauce?

          1. Not relevant to the notorious well-known smell issue, but I note that you don't mention any kind of sugar among your ingredients--white sugar, palm, whatever. I'm pretty sure that the sauce would taste funky and unbalanced without.

            But I'll second what people say about the smell: it fades after mixing into a proper dressing and really disappears with cooking in sauces and the like.