Fish sauce; an unpleasant smell, but an unbelievably delicious taste

Have you ever smelled it? The smell of fish sauce. Not necessarily the most popular scent, but the taste is legendary! Fortunately, you don’t smell the scent anymore when it blends with the rest of the ingredients during cooking. This sauce has been around for centuries, and its history is as rich as the taste sensation. Reasons enough to tell you all about it! At the end of this article you will of course also find a delicious recipe from our top chefs.

What exactly is fish sauce?

Fish sauce looks like amber-colored water and is made from all kinds of fermented fish. Traditionally, the fish is kept in the sun in large barrels. The fermentation process takes months and preferably even a few years. Now you may be thinking: is that even hygienic? And the answer to that is: yes. The fish is kept with a lot of salt. Salt extracts the moisture from the fish, but also kills all bacteria! The next step after fermenting the fish, is to press it. The liquid released by pressing the fish is what we call fish sauce.

Why is it so delicious?

Fish sauce is so popular because it provides the secret touch in many dishes. You might expect this sauce to taste like fish, but the opposite is true. It mainly has a nutty taste and belongs to the fifth taste category ‘umami’. In addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter, there is a fifth basic taste, namely umami. The word umami means deliciousness or savory in Japanese; no wonder that this lovely sauce provides such a delicious taste experience.

The history

Fish sauce is nowadays mainly linked to Thailand and Vietnam. However, the history of this tasty sauce goes back a long way. Fish sauce was already made by the Romans and Greeks and is called garum. The word garum refers to the type of fish the Romans and Greeks used.

This sauce was very expensive in those days. This is mainly because a lot of salt was needed for the fermentation process, and salt was a precious product at the time. Fortunately, it has now become a lot more affordable. In our webshop you will find a delicious and affordable fish sauce.

Fun fact: did you know that garum was so popular in Pompeii, it was even taken when fleeing the lava rain? Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of people on the run. A jug of fish sauce was part of those remains.

A recipe from our top chefs

As promised, our top chefs have another recipe in store for you: steamed sea bass with lime. This dish is not only very tasty, but also healthy. Thanks to the steaming process, you hardly use any oil and you will treat your body with omegas and healthy herbs and spices. Try this recipe yourself and share your creation with us via Instagram