Written By Guest Writer Edibles / One ingredient Feb 20, 2012 น้ำปลา: Fish Sauce Decoded SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Squid and Three Crabs Fish Sauce at Fisgard Market. Photo by Deanna Ladret If you’ve ever had Thai food, or made a Vietnamese or Cambodian recipe, you are probably familiar with fish sauce. Its English name is somewhat frank, and doesn’t exactly conjure up a delicious image. But Fish Sauce adds a hallmark flavour to many dishes and enjoys a similar mainstay status in Southeast Asian cuisine, just as salt and pepper do in the west. Not unlike soy sauce in Chinese food, fish sauce lends a savoury taste to soups, meat dishes, noodles and curries. Simply put, fish sauce is the liquid collected from fish––usually anchovies––that have been left to ferment in salted water for 8 months to 2 years. Fish sauce may also be derived from dried fish, shellfish, or by-catch (an assortment of whatever is brought up from the nets that is unwanted). Though mainly used in Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Filipino cuisine, it is also used (sometimes with slightly different ingredients) in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean food as well. Golden Boy Brand Fish Sauce at Fisgard Market Like the specialty salts we love in the West, fish sauce also comes in many varieties and quality grades. Generally speaking, the longer the sauce has been aged, the finer the quality will be, and the less ‘fishy’ it will smell and taste. The ingredients in the premium brands are simple: water, anchovy extract, salt, and sugar. Cheaper fish sauces can contain additives such as MSG and other flavour enhancers, so check the ingredients before buying. At less than five dollars a bottle for a premium aged fish sauce, it is certainly worth going for the better brands. Fish sauce is available at many grocery stores, although the selection will be broader in Chinatown. Fisgard Market has a decent selection in the rear right corner of the store; look for Three Crabs, Squid Brand, or Golden Boy (pictured). Here’s cool link that shows the process of fish sauce making, step by step in photos. http://importfood.com/how_fish_sauce_is_made.html Fisgard Market 550 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC (250) 383-6966 AsianChinesefish SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like Recipes / SH December 19, 2014 Holiday Baking: All Loaf Pans Are Not Created Equal I’m not sure how you approach your kitchen gear acquisitions, but in my house, baking pans hold a pitiful position on the hierarchy of wares. After ... Read More Recipes December 19, 2014 EAT’s New Tourtière Every year my family makes tourtière for Christmas. I love it because it’s tradition, not because it’s my favourite thing in the world to eat. ... Read More Pantry December 12, 2014 Four Regions of Chinese Food, Part 1: Les Chan. Part of the interest in chasing down different articles for Eat Magazine is that I never know where I am going to end up when I start my ... Read More Must Have / Restaurants December 11, 2014 Winter Comfort Foods: Congee You know a food has jumped the shark when there’s an entire line of inspirational self-help books about it. Much to my family’s chagrin, this is ... Read More Recipes December 11, 2014 Cauliflower: A Classy Comeback Move over kale, cauliflower is in town and she’s looking mighty fine. In the past year, cauliflower has edged itself to the front of the plate, ... Read More How to Cook December 10, 2014 On Throwing a Fondue Party At 5:22 pm, in advance of a party that starts at 7:00, I am sitting in my kitchen and drinking a glass of Prosecco, trying to decide how things are ... Read More Comments are closed.