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The Drippings of Fermented Rotten Anchovies…
The Thais serve “prik nam pla” as a condiment on the table for every meal. It’s simple ‘fish sauce’ with chopped Thai chilis, those little hot devils, and chopped coriander weed, commonly called ‘cilantro’ in parts of the USA. It’s indispensable. You can judge the authenticity of a Thai restaurant by whether you are served prik nam pla automatically, or have to ask for it, or can’t even get it. In the latter case, you are ethically authorized to walk out without paying your bill.
Likewise, any Thai or Vietnamese cookbook that doesn’t discuss the uses of fish sauce would be better reserved for starting campfires.
As I said, the Romans used the same stuff, which they called LIQUAMEN. My guess is that as the Empire was transformed by immigration from the north, especially via Gaul, fish sauce was replaced by sea salt and rock salt. The Haida, Tlingit, and Kwakiutl peoples of the Pacific Northwest used the oil squeezed from candlefish for a similar taste treat. That oil was so valuable as a trade item that wars were fought over it.
Soya sauce is NOT an adequate substitute, whatever your Betty Crocker cookbook says. But now you can get fish sauce anywhere you choose to live. I’m still getting accustomed to the implications of internet shopping. Imagine this: I can get a novel by Roberto Bolaños, a DVD opera by Monteverdi, and a bottle of Tiparos nam pla, all in one package delivered to my door by the US Postal Service.
I grew up on this brand
The best fish sauce ever!
Authentic Thai Fish Sauce
Indispensible for Thai cooking
The proportions of ingredients are strictly to your taste. My wife and I will use one large chicken breast, a whole bell pepper and a medium onion. Too much chicken makes the dish too meaty for my taste, but as long as it cooks uniformly there’s no right or wrong.
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into about 1″ strips pieces. I prefer all natural or organic, never frozen. It costs more but tastes much better. You can also add another chicken breast or two to scale up the recipe. If you prefer, you can also cut the chicken into julienne pieces or even 1-2″ cubes. It tastes great however you do it!
1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips. I prefer yellow, as it’s sweeter than green. If you want more vegetables, add another pepper or more onion. Just increase the sauce a little bit.
3-4 cloves of garlic sliced thin
1 small to medium onion cut into thin slices
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced thin. You can use Thai peppers or even serrano peppers if you like it more fiercely hot. The amount of pepper controls the heat. You can omit these if you don’t have the palate for spicy.
1 cup fresh basil leaves. If you can actually get Thai basil this is best, but any will do, the fresher the better. Feel free to add extra, particularly if you are increasing the amount of chicken and vegetables.
Sauce (this can be doubled or tripled quite easily, to increase the amount of sauce with your dish):
1 tbsp black soy (in Asian specialty shops)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 to 2 tbs Tiparos fish sauce – The amount you use really controls the flavor of the dish. If you want it more authentic, use the higher amount; if you want it more tame, the smaller amount.
1. On medium high heat, heat about 2 tbsp cooking oil in your wok until hot
2. Add peppers, garlic and onion. Saute a few minutes until they soften
3. Add chicen. Saute until almost cooked through. If you use previously frozen chicken, or over cook at this point, the chicken will be tough.
4. Add sauce and saute until chicken it is just cooked through.
5. Turn off heat. Add basil leaves, and stir until they wilt.
6. Serve imediately with freshly cooked jasmine rice.
THE Fish Sauce for Your Pantry
* Very pungent, complex flavors. This fish sauce is like a truffle. There are so many levels of flavor of aroma. It’s not just salt and fish like other brands.
* Anchovy-based. A sustainable fish that usually contains low levels of mercury.
* Very reasonably priced.
* The plastic bottle. It’s a low grade plastic and I’m no plastic composition expert but I’m suspicious of BPA. I’m sure it keeps costs down compared to glass but I wish it was a bit more eco-friendly.
Don’t even look anywhere else for fish sauce. If you’ve got a recipe that calls for it, Tiparos is the only one you’ll ever need.
What a discovery for the casual paella maker!
I personally dislike anchovies, and don’t like working with them. With that said, their particular glutamic acids are essential to the flavor certain recipes… like Cuban Paella or Puttanesca sauce. I decided to purchase some in the hopes that I could forget about wasting half-full tins of anchovies for odd recipes I rarely make.
Wow! This sauce is pretty spectacular. I think it has a lot more punch and much better flavor than mere anchovies, so use sparingly, but use often. I am now planning to try a lot of anchovy recipes that I was formerly avoiding. No reason to avoid them now.
Try combining this with Sesame Chili oil for a real flavor booster.
I use it in almost everything: it enhances the fish flavor of any fish preparation or sauce to go with fish. In dishes that don’t have fish in them it acts as a great flavor enhancer. I’m hooked for life! The only thing I regret is not ordering two units (total of four bottles).
Haven’t tried cooking Thai food yet-I just use it for all my cooking.
I don’t think a meal is as good with out Tiparos! The flavor that this sauce adds to the taste of chicken, rice and eggs is so great!
Eyebrow Raising Funky Smell – That’s when you know it’s authentic
I thought it was going to ruin my Kim Chi, and to be honest with you, when I tasted the Kim Chi right after I made it, it did seem to ruin it. But after two days of fermenting with the spices and the cabbage, the Kim Chi turned out to be phenomenal. I’ve never made such authentic, yummy Kim Chi in my life! Whatever it is, this sauce did the trick. The ingredients seem to be pure with no added icky stuff, however, the cheap plastic container made me worry about BPA. But that’s how most asian ingredients are packaged. Overall, I am happy I purchased this off Amazon.
On the down side – I think it is pricey for what it is and the seller shows no mercy on shipping. It is probably manufactured for penny’s a gallon but I guess it goes back to supply and demand and where I live, there is no local supply.
Smells like death, tastes like heaven
A great sipping fish sauce
Use it in just about everything
just what i was looking for
Difficult to Find Locally – Then I Found This Delicious Thai Cooking Staple on Amazon!
Then I read about this brand in a Cook’s Illustrated review from 2004 (yes, old, but accurate it turns out) giving Tiparos Fish Sauce their first place spot. I never could find the product locally however, then found it on Amazon, available with Prime free shipping and ordered it.
The sauce is delicious and it is now considered one of our Asian cooking staples, along with our Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce, 18-Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 2), our Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce and our SHOYU, NAMA YAMAKI OG 5OZ as well as the toasted sesame oil. While the bottles we received did not say to refrigerate after opening, we do, just as we do our other, opened Asian sauces and oils.