I would love to try the Gingery Hot Duck Salad but I have a quick question. I don't eat fish or seafood at all, is there a decent substitute for the fish sauce? Can I use soy sauce, or will that corrupt the whole dish? Thanks!
Nigella's Gingery Hot Duck Salad (from NIGELLA BITES) is a salad with a salty, spicy, slightly sour dressing made with fish sauce. Fish sauce is made by fermenting fish and shellfish with salt, to give a salty, savoury condiment. It has a quite specific flavour and can't really be exactly replaced.
For this particular recipe if you can't use fish sauce then we would suggest soy sauce as an alternative, though soy sauce can be darker and saltier so we would not necessarily use a 1:1 substitution. We would suggest using a combination of soy sauce plus extra lime juice (or seville orange juice). Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce on its own first to the dressing and taste, then add extra drops of soy sauce and extra juice to give a balance of hot, sour and spicy that suits your taste. If you are not using fish sauce then we would also suggest adding the toasted (Asian) sesame oil, as this contributes an extra layer of flavour.