fish sauce

Popular throughout Southeast Asia, fish sauce can be any of various mixtures based on the liquid from salted, fermented fish. This extremely pungent, strong-flavored and salty liquid can range in color from ochre to deep brown. It’s used as a condiment and flavoring, much as soy sauce would be used. Fish sauces may be flavored variously — such as with chiles or sugar — depending on the use. Asian markets carry a wide variety of these pungent sauces including nam pla (Thai), nuoc nam (Vietnamese), patis (Philippines) and shottsuru (Japanese). Fish sauce is also referred to as fish gravy.