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How to Use Fish Sauce

No need to be afraid of this fishy fluid – it adds umami madness to lots of dishes.


Much like the word "anchovy," the mention of fish sauce in recipes may cause noses to wrinkle. Some people tend to steer clear of these potentially pungent ingredients for fear of putting an overly fishy flavor into their food.

But people, take a deep breath and open your minds, because you're missing out on a killer condiment. Fish sauce isn't even that fishy, y'all.

The condiment is clear and reddish-brown, made from small fish fermented in brine and sometimes sugar or even pineapple juice. The resulting liquid is savory, complex and adds depth to marinades, sauces, soups, stir fry and even beverages (think Bloody Marys, not Cosmos).

Remember that a little bit of fish sauce goes a long way – with most recipes calling for just a tablespoon or two. But if you find that you like it so much that you want to use more, then have at it! No one's watching.

To get you going, here are some awesome recipes that are easily amped up with fish sauce:

For these Shrimp Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce, you can add a dash or two of fish sauce to the dip, or dunk your rolls right in the condiment. You could also try adding some umami flare to this Beef Noodle Stir Fry or Tarragon Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry.

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