Fish Sauce

rover48, Aug 18, 9:27pm
I was just looking at "Chicken Mince" recipes on a thread and it mentions Fish Sauce in quite a few, as well as being added to lots of other recipes, exactly what sort of flavour does it add, I always thought it might make it "fishy" so have never used it.

winnie231, Aug 18, 9:43pm
rover48 - fish sauce works like a kind of 'flavour booster' ... Here's an extract from wiki that I hope helps explain things -

Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in Filipino, Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, and Cambodiancuisine and is used in other Southeast Asian countries. In addition to being added to dishes during the cooking process, fish sauce can also be used in mixed form as a dipping condiment, and it is done in many different ways by each country mentioned for fish, shrimp, pork, and chicken. In parts of southern China, it is used as an ingredient for soups and casseroles.

Fish sauce, and its derivatives, impart an umami flavor to food due to their glutamate content.

Umami, also referred to as savoriness, has been proposed as one of the basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the human and animal tongue. Umami is a loanword from Japanese meaning "good flavor" or "good taste" (noun). In English, however, "brothy", "meaty", or "savory" have been proposed as alternative translations. Inasmuch as it describes the flavor common to savory products such as meat, cheese, and mushrooms, umami is similar to Brillat-Savarin's concept of osmazome, an early attempt to describe the main flavoring component of meat as extracted in the process of making stock.

davidt4, Aug 18, 9:44pm
Fish sauce adds a savouriness (umami) in the same way that soy sauce does. It is nota fishy taste. I use it a lot in meat dishes including European ones.

Try to find a good quality fish sauce - the Vietnamese ones are pretty good, and the Thai brand "Tiparos is excellent. It should be pale and clear - a golden brown colour rather than red-brown.

rover48, Aug 19, 2:25am
Thanks for that, will get some next shop and be a bit more "adventurous"

motorbo, Aug 19, 3:05am
yesh dont be put off by it, its great! ! hmm u make me feel like thai chicken patties now :)

beaker59, Aug 19, 3:23am
Agree with all thats been said above. I started using it for Thai cooking when I got into that, but the fish sauce goes in most things I cook now. Initially just a few drops but now I use quite allot. Great rubbed onto a steak before frying mmmmmm

Does have a very high salt content so remember that when adding large amounts.

beaumonde, Aug 19, 1:01pm
There is a brand that has a smaller bottle, I think you can get it from the asian section in most supermarkets. It a brown bottle put out by megabrand
Most Asian shops you have to buy huge amount, very smelly stuff, a little goes a long way. I have't seen that Tiparos brand might have to look out for it.

beaker59, Feb 8, 6:15pm
A little does go a long way but by the same token it never goes off so can sit in the cupboard for years if necessary :)