Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fish Sauce - The Salt of the Thai people




One of the most important ingredients in the Thai, and Southeast Asian cuisine is the fish sauce. It is made of fermented fish, like anchovies and other small fish, salt, sugar, water and depending on the taste also oysters and shrimps.

"The variety fromVietnam is generally called nước mắm, and similar condiments fromThailand and Myanmar are called nam pla (น้ำปลา) and ngan byar yay respectively. In Cambodia, it is known as teuk trei and range from a variety of sauces using fish sauce as a base. The Indonesian semisolid fish paste trasi, the Cambodian prahok and theMalay fermented krill brick belacan are other popular variations of the same theme. The similarFilipino version common to Indo-China is called patis. It is the by-product of a popular crude fish sauce, bagoong."
(from Wikipedia)

The brighter the color of the fish sauce, the better is the quality. The sauce strengthens the taste of meals, without leaving a "fishy" taste. In Thailand one uses Fish sauce as a salt replacement and as when proportioning salt, dearer less than more. One will find a small cup with Fish sauce on the table in every Thai restaurant to spice up.


Keeping quality:
Opened Fish sauce keeps well, coolly stored about one year.


Recipe: Fish sauce with Chillies
(Phrik nam pla):

Along with many Thai dishes, like fried rice, fried noodles, Curries, etc.
one offers a small cup with "Prik nam pla" to spice up.

Ingredients:

Fish sauce
1 clove of garlic, chopped
5-6 Thai Chillies (Phrik khi noo) red and/or green
1/4 Lemon

Preparation:
Fill Fish sauce into a small cup.
Cut Chillies into fine rings cut (note: wash Your hands afterwards with cold water)
Chop clove of garlic.
Add Chillies and garlic to the fish sauce and refine with the juice of a 1/4 Lemon .
Lemon can be added as a whole piece also.
Soak well.