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fishsauce ideas

bettac May 1, 2013 10:46 AM

I have some fish sauce and can't think of anything to use it in other than pad thai or a vietnamese salad dressing. Any other ideas?

  1. y
    youareabunny May 1, 2013 10:51 AM

    Use it similar to soy sauce, or anything salty. It's anchovies, really, and when heated becomes a bit nutty.

    My mother makes chicken soup and uses a spoonful or so of it. Never have seen her use it in a beef or pork dish, though.

    I've stir fried veggies with just a seasoning of fish sauce.

    It's also a nice salad dressing when heated with sugar and chile, although maybe you do this already.

    1. j
      joonjoon May 1, 2013 12:56 PM

      Just think of it like flavored salt. It's good on practically everything.

      1. b
        bumble May 1, 2013 12:59 PM

        I put a little in my scrambled eggs prior to cooking.

        It's great as a marinade for chicken and pork when mixed with garlic and sugar. Add some lemongrass if you have it on hand.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bumble
          bettac May 2, 2013 04:24 AM

          I tried adding it to scrambled eggs today, soooo good!! great idea.

        2. firecooked May 1, 2013 01:51 PM

          I just finished "Ruhlman's Twenty". Fish sauce seems to be his secret ingredient for a lot of things... soups, sauces, marinades... anything that needs a hit of umami. I'm thinking I need to get some!

          1. JungMann May 1, 2013 02:01 PM

            As joonjoon says, use it like salt. It can replace anchovies in certain dishes, but it's just as good adding a certain briny salinity to anything from rotisserie-chicken marinades to soup.

            1. c
              chinaplate May 1, 2013 02:07 PM

              It does wonders in odd places. If I make a vegetable based tomato sauce that is flat ... a good dash of fish sauce often fixes it perfectly.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chinaplate
                greygarious May 1, 2013 09:16 PM

                I did that a year ago after reading the suggestion on CH. I tasted the fish sauce in the finished pasta sauce, and not in a good way. But happily, by the next day the flavors had melded and I no longer tasted the anchovy. I DO use canned anchovies or anchovy paste in quick pasta dishes like sun-dried tomato, garlic, cheese, and olive oil but those dishes don't ever taste fishy.

              2. chefj May 1, 2013 05:22 PM

                All of these dishes use a good amount of Fish Sauce,
                Thit Heo Kho,Vietnamese Pork in Caramel Sauce
                Any Thai Curry,Sautes and most Soups .
                Filipino Sinigang, Escabeche,Ginataang Sitaw
                Also it is used in Laos, Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and to a lesser extent in Korea and China.
                Check out recipes from these cultures will yield a lot of opportunities to use your Fish sauce as well as integrating it into Western Dishes.

                1. 4
                  4Snisl May 1, 2013 05:32 PM

                  This simple recipe for Vietnamese marinated chicken is now one in regular rotation for me....in fact, I'm making it for dinner tomorrow! So simple, but incredibly flavorful and delicious.


                  1. TroyTempest May 1, 2013 05:38 PM

                    you can make a quick fish chowder (boullibase(sp), cioppino, etc) without fish stock by adding some to your crushed tomatoes, then adding fish filets, herbs, etc.
                    Obbviously, lower salt, though.

                    1. c
                      cheesemonger May 1, 2013 09:39 PM


                      1. t
                        tastesgoodwhatisit May 1, 2013 10:09 PM

                        I use fish sauce and anchovy paste as umami enhancers - a little bit in a sauce can be subtle, but punches the flavour up a bit.

                        You can always make nam-pla prik, which is basically bird chilies and fish sauce, and is ubiquitous as a condiment in Thailand.

                        1. p
                          peanuttree May 1, 2013 10:35 PM

                          I gotta second everyone else - I just use it whenever I want that particular cheesy, salty taste/smell (to me, when it cooks, it smells cheesy)

                          Good way to spice up vegetables. The poster with the tomato sauce provides a good example

                          1. sarinaL May 2, 2013 05:03 AM

                            If you mix fish sauce and oyster sauce in a 1:1 ratio and keep it in a jar, you'll have a go-to sauce for any basic Thai/Lao stir fry. A little oil, some smashed garlic, your meat, and a drizzle of the sauce. Add your veggies and flip, flip, flip.

                            1. vanderb May 2, 2013 05:09 AM

                              Finely chop up a load of thai/bird's eye chilies, place in a jar and cover with fish sauce. Use this as a condiment for any Thai/Viet dishes, rice or anywhere you want a little salt and heat.

                              This assumes you like chilies.

                              1. splatgirl May 2, 2013 07:17 AM

                                I add a dash or two to most anything with an umami element. Chilli, soups, etc.

                                Stir fried veg--pad pak. Basically the same fish sauce/sugar/tamarind combo as pad thai only more of it, plus or minus ginger and thai basil, served with rice to sop up the yum.

                                1. Chocolatechipkt May 2, 2013 07:42 AM

                                  This recipe is really good (and it doesn't have to be pork ... I've used chicken, tofu etc instead):

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