Fish “sauce”? I know – it sounds strange, but fish sauce is a very popular ingredient in cuisines all over the world. Before refrigeration, fish was cured in salt to make it last longer. To turn it into a sauce to add in dishes was an obvious next step.
The fish sauce you find in the Asian sections of supermarkets today are a mixture of fermented anchovies, sea salt, and other ingredients. Similar to soy sauce (where the soy mash is fermented and mixed with salt and water), fish sauce is used to make a dish salty and sweet.
Fish sauce isn’t that foreign. If you enjoy Pad Thai at your favorite Thai restaurant, you’ve had fish sauce. Also – if you enjoy Worcestershire sauce on your steak, you’ve had the European equivalent of fish sauce – as it’s made with, you guessed it, fermented anchovies.
We have used fish sauce in our Vietmanmese Noodle Stew (Pho). Check it out!