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Fish Sauce Substitute

Asked by vsmitten. Answered on 10th August 2012

Full question

I have all of Nigella's cookbooks and some recipes call for fish sauce. My children and I are allergic to it and my husband doesn't like it. What can we substitute in place of fish sauce without sacrificing some of the authenticity of taste?

Our answer

Fish sauce (Nam Pla) is an Asian condiment made by fermenting fish and shellfish with salt. It has quite a salty, slightly sour but very savoury flavour and is particularly associated with Thai food which is known for its balance of sweet, salty, hot and sour.

If you are allergic to shellfish only then you could try using a few drops of Worcestershire sauce which is made with anchovies and tamarind (which adds soem sourness). However Worcestershire sauce tends to be very strong so you need to use it carefully. Another alternative is soy sauce which will give a similar salty, savoury flavour. You could also add a squeeze of lime juice to help with the sour element.


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