Fish sauce vs. Oyster sauce: what’s the difference?


But what exactly are oyster and fish sauces, and why do they differ? Well, as you can probably tell from their names, these sauces are made from different seafood. Fish sauce, in particular, is made by mixing fish, usually sardines, anchovies and shrimp, with salt and squeezing it, letting it ferment for months in a meaty, umami-flavored brown liquid (via Fermented Foods in Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology). Fish sauce is essential to all kinds of dishes in the Orient, but as it has become more accessible in Western markets, it is now used around the world to add depth and flavor to many dishes, whether it’s about grilling, sautéing, sautéing, or marinating your dishes. Serious Eats says fish sauce is and can be a condiment that can add nuance to everything from salad dressings to pasta, soup and stew broths, fried rice and even savory cocktails like the Kimchi Bloody Mary.

According to Bon Appétit, this fermentation fish concoction has been used for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Chinese would also have used it; Yet today it is well loved and used in the traditional dishes of many cultures, especially in South Asia, as a way to showcase the earthy flavors locked in our vegetables and the natural richness of meats. This sauce is a must-have in your kitchen if you plan to prepare Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, Cambodian, Laotian, Filipino or Thai dishes in the near future.

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