What is Fish Sauce?
Fish sauce is a clear and thin liquid with a color that is light or medium brown and made from anchovies. It is used in many East Asian dishes to add a marine-like umami quality. The flavor is salty, fishy and fermented. A little bit goes a long way and can make or break a dish, depending on the amount used. Just enough fish sauce brightens every flavor in the dish, while too much is overpowering.
What does Fish Sauce Taste Like?
...Salty is one of the five main tastes. It has a satisfying and addictive quality with hints of sourness. Salty foods include cheeses, cured meats, chips, and olives. It is used in almost every dish and prepared food. Salt is added to enhance flavor and offer a distinctly salty taste.
...Umami is one of five main tastes. It is savory with a depth of flavor. Umami is a taste in many foods, including meat, seafood, beans, and nuts. It is both naturally occurring and created through the specific use of ingredients to create a satisfying taste. Umami is characteristic of proteins and savory dishes.
...Anchovies are a classification of small, oily salt-water fish of the Engraulidae family. Variations of this fish are used around the world. A common method for preserving anchovies is to gut them and brine them, then pack them in oil to be sold. Vinegar is another method used for preserving anchovies. Though less common, these little fish are also prepared raw with no preserving and have a much milder fishy taste, yet pack a ton of flavor.
...Water is a substance and chemical compound made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It is clear, fluid, flavorless and odorless. Water is a necessity in nearly every aspect of life, including cooking, baking and hydrating the human body. Water can be served as a cold beverage, or at any temperature comfortable to the mouth and skin.
...Salt is a mineral composed mostly of sodium chloride. It is the main flavoring used in food and is naturally occurring in certain foods, such as cheese, beets, meat and celery, plus many others. Salt is white and has finer granules than sugar. Many commercial salts include iodide, while others exclude it. Most salts are white, while some are naturally pale pink with minerals. Salt brings out the flavor of something and can create a tangy mouthfeel, if used in excess.
...Sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. The sugar is extracted from the juice of both plants and refined into the granulated substance known as sugar. Sucrose, the sweet substance of sugar is a combination of glucose and fructose. White sugar is composed of tiny white, dry granules. The flavor is sweet and neutral. Brown sugar is brown and has more moisture, with a richer flavor that hints at molasses. Sugar is used in both sweet and savory foods.