22 Delicious Ways to Use Up That Bottle of Fish Sauce
It's time, people. Time to liberate that bottle of fish sauce you bought months ago to add a tablespoon or two to a single recipe that sounded delicous. It's likely been loitering unloved on the refrigerator door rack ever since. Well, it's time to put that fish sauce to work! Fish sauce offers delicious savory flavor to so many recipes: marinades, dipping sauces, dressings, soups, stir fries, noodle dishes, and more. We've picked out some of our favorite recipes that feature flavor-building fish sauce.
Thai Pineapple Shrimp Curry
Ready in about 40 minutes, this quick recipe features pineapple and shrimp swimming in a coconut milk broth with red curry paste, fish sauce, and vegetables. "My family thinks that this is better then at our local Thai restaurant!" says Deb Brown. "You can use less or more of the red curry paste for less or more heat. We like it spicy!"
Banh Mi Burgers
Grilled pork burgers are flavored with sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, ginger, and fish sauce and topped with a quick pickle mix of cucumbers and carrots. "Grilling will add a nice flavor, and I prefer charcoal for a nice smoky finish," says wisweetp. "But these burgers can also be cooked on the stovetop."
Chicken Ramen Bowl
"This dish is a total flavor bomb, filled with a rich broth, tender meat, and noodles, topped with a 7-minute egg – my new favorite thing in the world," says Tonja Engen. "I never skimp on flavor even when I'm eating light. It's complex, easy, and satisfying. You don't have to make the egg, but I think it's so worth it."
A whole pompano fish is stuffed with lime and seasoned with soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine, and plenty of fresh ginger and baked on a bed of cabbage. "This is one of the best fish recipes I have ever tried," says albee. "It has such flavor. I will try it with other than Pompano — I think any white fish would be great with this recipe."
Chef John's Grilled Flap Steak
You can enjoy marinated flap meat in so many delicious ways. Try it in Asian-style lettuce wraps, tacos, and Philly cheese steaks. "I used the grilled meat with lettuce, carrots, red onions, chopped peanuts, and cilantro leaves to make a salad," says Chef John. "For the dressing I combined the reserved meat juices, sambal, fish sauce, and rice vinegar to taste. I didn't measure anything, and neither should you."
Cambodian Ginger Catfish
This Cambodian catfish dish has kick, with onions, bell peppers, fresh ginger, and a stir-fry sauce featuring fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Garnish with green onions to serve. "Love the taste," says patinncnow. "It came out perfect. I reduced the amount of fresh ginger as one of the reviewers suggested. Definitely will make it again."
Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef and Noodles
Thin slices of flank steak are marinated in lemongrass, garlic, and dry sherry; sauteed, and tossed with cold vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and a sweetened fish sauce dressing. "This is a classic Vietnamese dish that is so simple to make," says MommyFromSeattle. Great on warm days or it makes a quick, weeknight meal."
Grilled Sea Bass with Chili-Lime Dressing
"While this recipe for grilled sea bass with an Asian chile-lime dressing is super-fast and easy, it doesn't taste or look super-fast and easy," says Chef John. "Your guests will be impressed, and it will be our little secret. I served mine with some caramelized parsnips."
Thai Green Curry Meatballs
"Make a statement for dinner with the bold flavors of these Thai-inspired pork meatballs," sys France C. "I love Thai ingredients and decided to combine them together with pork to make these juicy meatballs that taste like they've been simmering for hours. Serve over rice or noodles and garnish with minced scallions. Increase the red pepper flakes for an extra kick!"
Ginataang Alimasag (Crabs in Coconut Milk)
"Growing up in the Philippines, my dad would catch a lot of crab, and this was my favorite dish he'd make with it," says Musang. "It's a cross between a sauce and a stew, curry-like in texture and rich with flavors of the sea; think coconut milk, fish sauce, and shrimp paste, cut with the sharpness of ginger and scallions. Enjoy with freshly steamed white rice."
Stir-Fried Tofu with Cashews
Sliced tofu is marinated in whiskey (or sherry), fish sauce, light soy sauce, black soy sauce, and oyster sauce and stir-fried with cashews, garlic, onion, and red chile peppers. Pair with rice and a curry or tom ka gai. "This is INCREDIBLE," raves SunnyDaysNora. "The sauce is fabulous. This dish would lend itself well to any protein in place of tofu and pretty much any stir-fried veggie would work as well."
Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Crepes)
This shrimp-studded crepe is rolled up in a leaf of lettuce and dipped in nuoc cham dipping sauce. "Banh xeo (bahn SAY-oh) is a popular street snack in Vietnam, especially in the south," says foxyamf. "The name means sound crepe, and refers to the sound the batter makes when it hits the hot skillet. Serve with fresh herbs."
Easy Panang Curry with Chicken
Cubes of chicken breast are simmered in a fragrant coconut milk sauce flavored with Panang curry paste, lime leaves, and fish sauce. "Panang curry with chicken represents the diversity of Thailand's South," says Wiley. "Panang refers to the island of Penang in Northern Malaysia bordering Southern Thailand. Use 4 tablespoons Panang curry paste from my recipe or 5 tablespoons pre-made curry paste if time does not permit making your own paste. Serve with steamed jasmine rice."
Garlic-Mushroom Chicken Thigh Stir-Fry
Ready in about 20 minutes, this quick-and-easy stir-fry features chicken thighs, mushrooms, bell peppers, and garlic in a sauce flavored with brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic paste, fish sauce, and oyster sauce . Enjoy it over rice or chow mein noodles.
Chicken thigh pieces cook up in a sweet and tangy sauce with dark brown sugar, rice vinegar, water, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper. "Quick and easy dinner recipe packed with flavor!" says cookingi. Ready in about 30 minutes.
Thai-Dipped Beef Tri Tip
Beef tri-tip is marinated in a flavorful mixture of garlic, lemongrass, grated ginger and onion, fish sauce, soy sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and vegetable oil. "I enjoy beef satay way more than I do skewering small pieces of beef," says Chef John. "Besides, I've never made satay, and not stuck a bamboo skewer into my finger at some point in the process. Not only did this involve less labor, but you can cook this in any number of ways."
Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken Soup
Chicken, vegetables, and fresh herbs are simmered in an aromatic lemongrass broth with citrus juices and zest, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, fish sauce, and chile pepper. "My Khmer sons both love this soup at our favorite Cambodian restaurant, Chez Sovan, in San Jose, CA," says KLemons. "This is my attempt to match the flavors at home. My oldest son's comment on trying the soup was, Mmm so close, make some more! Serve with warm baguette."
Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs
These ground pork meatballs are balanced with flavors of spicy, salty, tangy, and sweet. "We enjoy these tasty meatballs served over a bowl of rice or wrapped in lettuce cups," says lutzflcat. "They also make wonderful appetizers. Leftover meatballs may be stored in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag."
Snapper with Linguine and Citrus Cream Sauce
"This meal served with an intriguing cream sauce is actually an easy dish for beginners to prepare," says kelly. "It tastes like it came from a restaurant!" The cream sauce features shallot and garlic, a touch of vodka, lemon and lime juice, fish sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, fennel seeds, basil, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce.
Bo Kho (Spicy Vietnamese Beef Stew)
With this one-pot meal, beef brisket stews until tender in an aromatic broth with lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, ginger, curry powder, five-spice powder, and a bay leaf. "Bo Kho is the best beef stew I have ever eaten!" says Lori Rowley-Sipple. "It takes a bit of prep work, but so very worth it in the end! I always double this recipe."
Virtually any noodle will work in this super-simple recipe. Chef John prefers spaghetti. The savory garlic sauce features soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, cayenne pepper, and lots of garlic. "These deceivingly simple, yet devastatingly delicious garlic noodles were invented back in the '70s at a restaurant in San Francisco called Thanh Long," says Chef John. "Usually served with roasted Dungeness crab, the recipe is a very closely guarded family secret, but after lots of investigation, and even more experimentation. I think this is very close."
Thai Chicken with Basil Stir Fry
Chicken strips, mushrooms, onions, ginger, basil, and garlic combine with a coconut milk sauce starring soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes. Serve over jasmine rice. "Absolutely delicious and much better than the chicken basil we get from the local restaurant," says Thanuja. "I plan on adding more of the coconut milk/vinegar/red pepper flake mixture next time so get more sauce out of it."