Fish Sauce Is The Secret To Irresistibly Savory Fried Rice

Before you bring out the wok and get to frying, you need to have a quality bottle of fish sauce first. This can be a bit tricky, especially if you’ve never had fish sauce before. Apart from sticking to well-known brands with good provenances like Red Boat or Three Crabs, you should pay close attention to the sauce’s color.

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Good fish sauce typically has a clear, amber color, similar to black tea. This color indicates that it’s a first-press fish sauce, made from the initial extraction of the fermenting barrel. First-press fish sauces are prized for their exceptional flavor and balance, outshining later presses that can taste more diluted and may even contain added flavorings, which can make the sauce taste so pungent your tongue would tingle from the savoriness.

Once you’ve brought your chosen bottle home, resist the temptation to take a whiff; that is if the plume of fishy smell coming out of the bottle hasn’t discouraged you yet. It’s best not to taste the sauce itself either. Instead, start by adding a small amount to your cooking. Once it blends into your dish, fish sauce takes on a totally new (and absolutely delicious) flavor and aroma — a lot more appetizing this time around!

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