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Why Fish Sauce is Unique (with Simple Home Recipe)

 

Description: fish sauce is special for good reasons. Here is why this ingredient is unique, plus a simple recipe to try.

 

Many ingredients have strong characteristics behind their simplicity, and fish sauce is one of them. First popular in China and the Mediterranean, this condiment is now used for various cuisines around the world. Its distinctive flavor makes it a great addition in every pantry.

 

Fish Sauce’s Characteristics and Uses

Fish sauce is popular in Asian countries, such as China, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. There are also other variations, such as fish paste called “terasi” in Indonesia. It has an intense flavor that consists of savory, slightly sweet, and “fishy” undertone. The smell is intense, so you must be cautious about the portion when using it.

 

The intense sauce is perfect to create umami flavor in dishes, adding complexities to dipping sauce and broth, and enriching the flavors of light meals. Fish sauce is often used in grilled seafood, thick soup and stews, fried rice or noodles, and even salad dressings.

 

Making Simple Fish Sauce at Home

You can find this product at various stores, but you can also make it yourself. The keys are choosing the freshest small fish. You can choose any fish you like, from mackerel to anchovies. Signs of the best fish are clear eyes, flesh that “rebounds” when pressed, and fresh odors.

 

Here are the steps to make it:

 

  1. Prepare 700 g fresh fish, 450 ml of filtered water, 170 g sea salt, two bay leaves, two cloves of garlic, half teaspoon of grated lemon peel, and one teaspoon of black peppercorns.
  2. Cut all the fish into small pieces and put them in a mason jar or other glass jar with airtight lid. Pound the pieces until they turn into pulp.
  3. Smash garlic cloves and put them into the jar. Add the lemon peel, peppercorns, and the sea salt.
  4. Pour water until all the pulp and salt is covered. Store the jar in cool place. Avoid direct sunlight.
  5. Let the jar sits for one to three months. Open the lid slightly and close it again every few days to “burp” the content and let out the gas (only in the first few weeks).
  6. Once finished, strain the content through a mesh strainer and let it sits for an hour. Filter it again using a coffee filter and a funnel. The result is a reddish-brown liquid with intense aroma and flavor.

Store it in a closely-lid jar or bottle. You can get enough to use for months or even a year.

 

Fish sauce is one of the unique ingredients, and if you make it yourself, you can instantly improve any dishes you cook at home.

 

References:

 

https://fermentersclub.com/fish-sauce/

https://www.seriouseats.com/ 2016/10/what-to-do-with-fish-sauce-recipes.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Fish_sauce