Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fish Sauce

Southeast Asian fish sauce is often made from anchovies, salt and water, and is often used in moderation because it is intensely flavoured. Anchovies and salt are arranged in wooden boxes to ferment and are slowly pressed, yielding the salty, fishy liquid. The variety from Vietnam is generally called nước mắm- famous with some traditional brand names: nước mắm Phú Quốc (Phu Quoc), nước mắm Phan Thiết (Phan Thiet), and similar condiments from Thailand and Myanmar are called nam pla (น้ำปลา) and ngan byar yay respectively. In Lao/Isan it is called nam pa, but a chunkier, more aromatic version known as padaek is also used.
In Cambodia, it is known as teuk trei (ទឹកត្រី) and range from a variety of sauces using fish sauce as a base.
The Indonesian semisolid fish paste trasi, the Cambodian prahok and the Malay fermented krill brick belacan are other popular variations of the same theme. The similar Filipino version common to Indo-China is called patis. It is the by-product of a popular crude fish sauce, bagoong.

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