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Fish Sauce

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi all, Used Thai fish sauce today in a marinade. I know fish sauce has a specific flavoring, however I thought this was very strong and a little overwhelming. Can anyone suggest a fish sauce that isn't so strong?  I think it can come from different asian countries. 

Comments apprecitated!

post #2 of 21

That's the way fish sauce is which is why you're only suppose to use a just little in dishes. It's suppose to enhance the flavors of the overall dish, not be an outstanding ingredient in and of itself.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #3 of 21

how much fish sauce did you us in your marinade sidediva?

post #4 of 21

If you give us the marinade recipe with quantities we can help figure this out. Some fish sauces are stronger than others but most are fairly strong. Also make sure you keep your fish sauce in the fridge or it will start to darken and get stronger - and not that good. Sometimes water is added to fish sauce to make it less pungent (for example in nuoc cham). 

 

The classic Thai way to balance fish sauce is with lime and sugar, sometimes also garlic and chili.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

the recipe called for 2 Tablespoons

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Yes I understand that...I followed the recipe which called for 2 T.  I just thought perhaps some fish sauces vary depending on the country they come from. In other words some may be lighter or stronger???

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
  • Here is the recipe.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1 1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 3)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon packed palm or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or sake
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

After reading your post ....I did have the fish sauce for a while in the pantry unopened....maybe it was too old.

 

Thanks for all the feedback...appreciate it!

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidediva View Post

Yes I understand that...I followed the recipe which called for 2 T.  I just thought perhaps some fish sauces vary depending on the country they come from. In other words some may be lighter or stronger???

 

 

not so much sidediva, they're all pretty pungent...french fries is on the money...

what was the entire recipe?  what else did you use?  

that way we could 'see' how you might make this marinade more to your liking next time.

post #9 of 21

Is fish sauce related to Garum

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #10 of 21

Yeah, they are more or less related as far as I know:

Check these links:

http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/recipes/garum.htm

http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/ingredients/ingredients-F.html

I remember reading a whole story about Garum some time ago, but I have no idea where. I'll look through my books and let you know if/when I find it

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post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the link...interesting information!

post #12 of 21

Thanks for the links and the info. What i find curious about fish sauce is that it stinks but the flavor is so different from the "aroma"!

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #13 of 21

You might find this link helpful too. :)

http://www.hsaba.com/blog/how-to/choose-fish-sauce

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollopicu View Post

You might find this link helpful too. :)

http://www.hsaba.com/blog/how-to/choose-fish-sauce

 

Interesting read Pollopicu. I recall this:

 

“…look for fish sauce with a clear, reddish brown colour, like the colour of good whisky or sherry, without any sediments. If the color is a dark or muddy brown, the sauce is likely to be either a lower grade, or one that is not properly or naturally fermented; it may also have been sitting on the shelf a bit too long. Good fish sauce also has a pleasant aroma of the sea, not an overwhelming smelly fishiness, and should not be overly salty. If the bottle you have been using makes the dishes you cook taste too fishy, try a new brand.”

 

I must have been buying crap fish sauce. Lesson learned.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #15 of 21
I have used "3 crabs" brand in the past, I liked it.
post #16 of 21

thumb.gif three crabs

post #17 of 21

Squid brand is good, too.

 

A couple of Thai food websites recommend Healthy Boy brand but I have never been able to find it here in Chicago, despite the plethora of South Asian grocery stores in my neighborhood.

 

Tiparos is commonly found and often used in Thai restaurants but I find it a bit too sharp and salty.

post #18 of 21

I can get Healthy Boy and Squid around here - both are fine, in my opinion. Never had them overwhelm my dish, and I also use them outside of Asian cooking - e.g. use a dash for an extra umami boost for a pasta sauce. Never came over fishy or pungent.

post #19 of 21

That marinade recipe looks alright to me, 2Tb doesn't sound overwhelming... then again I LOVE fish sauce. 

 

You could try substituting for 1Tb fish sauce + 1Tb soy sauce. 

post #20 of 21

hhmmm, I never thought of using fish sauce in red sauce, would be similar to using say an anchovy fillet, right?

post #21 of 21

It leaves no prominent taste when used sparingly - more like adding some MSG. So, well, yeah - like a finely chopped anchovy will vanish in the tastes and texture of the sauce and just enhance it a little bit.

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