This post is part of our Summer Cookbook Club series for June 2020 featuring Andrea Nguyen’s book, Vietnamese Food Any Day.

What is Fish Sauce?

Believe it or not, fish sauce is as nuanced as wine—each brand or bottle can have its own characteristics, and some are better than others.

Fish sauce is quite simply: fish and salt, more specifically anchovy. A general rule of thumb with cooking is that when something has few ingredients, quality counts for even more. With only two components in this sauce, the quality of both the fish and the salt is paramount.

How to Pick a Good Fish Sauce

A good fish sauce, according to Andrea Nguyen, author of six cookbooks focused on Asian cuisine, should have depth and shouldn’t be flat. “You’re looking for way more than salty water here,” she says. “Good fish sauce has complexity to it.” With such a strong, pungent…

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