We all love fish sauce. Fish sauce is a condiment made up of liquid and fleshly salted fish. The background of this delicious sauce is southeast Asia. It finds its use in flavoring and adding pleasant aroma in dishes like noodles and stir-fried vegetables.
Many folks have this question in their minds: What is fish sauce’s taste? The answer to the question is right here in this article.
Fish sauce is a liquid that smells like a fish. It tastes romantic than any other dish dressing you have on your store shelves. Despite using the sauce as a dipping sauce, it has more kitchen uses.
Fish sauce has a delicious flavor and saltiness that sweetness from sugar residuals and some fermented anchovies fish. The sauce is rich in minerals and vitamins such as vitamin B12 that protect us from mental disorders and neurological damage.
What is Fish Sauce?
Fish sauce is sweet, salty, fishy, and funky. But in a real sense, what is fish sauce? Well, its name is its glory. Most of the flavor it has comes from fish. The fish is fermented for almost a year for a pleasant aroma to be achieved.
Some fish like anchovies are placed in large containers with salt. Natural micro-organisms and bacteria break the fish down. The product is a fishy, salty, and savory liquid forming a fish sauce.
It adds a salty and umami flavor to many recipes and can be used in cuisine as a substitute for soy sauce and flavored oyster sauces. The sauce adds the same savory element to the dish as the soy sauce would do. When you add the sauce to your soup, it will taste a little bit salty without overwhelming the other flavors.
When you through fish sauce into marinates, stir-fries, or as a salad dressing, you will get the maximum flavor out of it. Sautéed greens, spaghetti pieces, roast chicken, and broths can all benefit from a dash of fish sauce.
What Does Fish Sauce Look Like?
The primary ingredient in many sauces is the roux. Roux is a thickening agent made from fat (typically butter) and flour. It is used to thicken sauces and stews. The roux is cooked for minutes to remove the flour’s raw taste and absorb as much liquid as possible. The flour is cooked until its color changes to make a brown sauce.
Salted fish is added to the liquid component of a fish sauce. Other ingredients include milk or cream, stock, wine, or pan juices from a roast. Flavors from onions, mushrooms, and truffles are added, and the sauce is simmered until it reaches the appropriate thickness.
What is Fish Sauce Made Up of?
The modern fish sauce contains anchovies and sea salt as the main ingredients in its purest form. In the past, the anchovies were crusted in sea salt and packed in barrels where fermentation occurred.
Natural bacteria chemically broke down the fish, and the result was super funky and brought liquid. The sauce is prepared at room temperature to preserve its enzymes and omega-3 fatty acids when raw.
The original formulation was abandoned with more sophisticated large-scale production systems with the Industrial Revolution. The industrial fish sauce contains more fillers like water, sugars, and other flavorings.
What is The Fish Sauce Used For?
Fish sauce backs its origin in Southeast Asia. In many parts of the world, it has become a standard salad dressing.
Many dishes like pad thai, pho, egg rolls and vermicelli noodle salad come with fish sauce. Below are different cuisines that use fish sauce.
Vietnamese fish sauce
Vietnamese consider a dish without fish sauce as incomplete. Fish sauce is so prevalent in many Vietnamese cuisines that you will find a sauce bottle on every dining table.
It’s used as a dipping condiment and a primary salt in cooking. Below are some dishes that feature fish sauce as the primary ingredient.
- Vietnamese dipping sauce
- Vietnamese pork chops
- Vietnamese pork & shrimp summer rolls
- Grilled chicken wings
Thai fish sauce
The sauce is similar to Vietnamese sauce, except it’s fermented in large jars instead of barrels. It has a pleasant aroma and not the fishy smell of anchovies. It serves as a substitute for salt and acts as a marinade in many Thai cuisines.
Some Thai recipes that contain fish sauce include.
- Pad Thai
- Thai red curry
- Thai Beef with basil and chilies
How to Use Fish Sauce?
Fish sauce may not have the most appetizing name or aroma, but there’s a reason the Southeast Asian liquid condiment is a pantry staple all around the world.
Fish sauce, like soy sauce and its companion anchovy-based sauce, Worcestershire, is a vital component in innumerable Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian dishes. Still, it may also be utilized to give a unique, savory richness to dishes of any origin.
Below are some uses of fish sauce
When grilling marine foods, sautéing vegetables, or stir-frying steak, a fish sauce-spiked marinade makes the dish funky and has that umami-rich intensity.
When the fish sauce is combined with chilies, and you use it to dress your grilled chicken wings, the sauce adds some savoriness to your dish.
If the sauce is combined with shallots, lemongrass, pepper, and some sugar and you dress your smoked pork, the result is a tasty and mouth-watering dish.
Fish sauce seasons grilled fish, meat, or any vegetable. However, once you marinate any of these ingredients, you must reserve the liquid once your ingredients simmer. This is recommended to prevent foodborne illnesses that have been soaked in the fish sauce.
The fish sauce should be used to top up whatever you were marinating or use it when serving your steak, chicken, or grilled seafood.
Complex soups and stews
Fish sauce may replace chilly in your broth, it’s a great way to give soups and stews a meaty depth. It also amplifies and adds character to the savory richness of your soup.
The fish sauce also balances your broth’s taste by regulating the spices and seasoning that you have used.
Punchy salad dressing
A combination of fish sauce, garlic, lime juice, and chilies forms a classic salad dressing. The dressing brings a sweet aroma to your cabbages or carrot salads and captures the sensibilities of other edible vegetables.
Adding some fish sauce into your fried rice adds flavor without compromising on the taste of your rice. It makes your rice shiny and highlights the briny sweetness it comes with.
I hope you will try using fish sauce when preparing your favorite dishes. However, it would help to describe how I use the sauce to prepare one of my mouth-watering delicacies in my kitchen.
Below are the ingredients you require.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
- Large, peeled, and deveined fish
- 14 ounces of coconut milk
- 3 cups of rice
- 3 small leaks already chopped
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 sliced onions
- 6 ounces of fresh green beans
- ½ red bell pepper already cut into small pieces
- 8 ounces of pineapple chunks
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 scallions that are sliced
- ½ cup curry paste
- Well-drained and sliced bamboo shoots.
- Preheat some olive oil on a skillet over low, medium heat.
- Put the curry paste and cook while stirring until fragrant for 2 minutes.
- Cook for another 2 minutes, constantly stirring, after adding the shrimp.
- Remove the skillet from the heating source and transfer the fish to a bowl or plate.
- Leave as much paste into the skillet as possible.
- Add coconut milk into the paste, which is already in the skillet.
- Combine the leeks, onions, bamboo shoots, sugar, and fish sauce in a large mixing bowl.
- Place the ingredients on low, medium heat on your skillet.
- Cook the ingredients until boiling starts.
- Green beans, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onions, and jalapeño pepper should all be added.
- Nuke the ingredients for 10-15 minutes until simmering starts, and they are tender.
- Put the fish and pineapple.
- Cook the fish while frequently stirring until it turns pink and is cooked thoroughly. It takes 5 minutes.
- Once ready, serve and enjoy overcooked fried rice.
Per Serving: 651 calories; protein 26.2g; carbohydrates 75.9g; fat 25.9g; cholesterol 172.6mg; sodium 1623.7mg.
Does Fish Sauce Taste Fishy?
The commercial fish sauce tastes fishy since they contain anchovy extracts. Traditional fish sauce is not smelly.
Commercial and traditional fish sauces are not interchangeable. Freshness, storage, transportation, and spoilage all play a role, just as they do with any “naturally” made product. It’s not something you eat directly like vinegar, Worcestershire, or various chili-based sauces. It must be used sparingly and wisely as an ingredient.
It has a salty flavor and a strong odor. The odor may turn off some Westerners, but it has an unrivaled capacity to provide umami, depth, and savoriness to a wide range of cuisines without tasting (or smelling) “fishy.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Does fish sauce taste fishy?
Yes, some commercial fish sauce has that pungent fishy smell. However, traditionally prepared fish sauce has a pleasant aroma.
Is fish sauce bad for you?
Fish sauce is a powerful source of Omega 3 fatty acids and vital minerals that our body requires for healthy living. Fish sauce is the best natural supply of omega 3 fatty acids for people who don’t consume fish. Fish sauce is not only a cooking spice and a meal dipping sauce, but it’s also a superb source of nutrients derived wholly from nature.
Which is healthier, salt or fish sauce?
Fish sauce is made up of low-sodium solution hence healthier than table salt. However, the uptake for the fish sauce as a substitute for the table is very minimal therefore not widespread.
Does fish sauce have a lot of sodium?
While fish sauce is light and gives a bit of acidity to any dish, it is extremely rich in salt, which can exacerbate the symptoms of various diseases, including heart disease. For this reason, you need to be careful when adding fish sauce to your dish, as a bit of seasoning goes a long way.
How much is fish sauce too much?
Because too much fish sauce may quickly overshadow a dish—and, yes, make it taste fishy—you only need a tablespoon or two in most circumstances, and even less if you’re unfamiliar with the item and its flavor.
Which is healthier, soy sauce or fish sauce?
Fish sauce adds flavor to a dish without making it taste fishy. We use fish sauce as a substitute for soy sauce. While the flavor is one-of-a-kind, it is also delectable. Fish sauce, rather than the issues linked with soy products, includes essential elements to improve your diet.
Fish sauce is a condiment made up of liquid and salted anchovy fish when prepared the traditional way. It is used as a flavor and adds that pleasant aroma to your fried fish or vegetable salad.
The article has also elaborated on what makes the fish sauce and its various uses. I hope you are equipped with the relevant information and am humbled that you have taken some of your precious time to read this article.
I wish you good moments and good health.
Jennifer D. Simon has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Read More