Fish sauce substitution in recipe
Just wondering best substitute for fish sauce for my beef pho broth. Any tip or suggestion is appreciated.
Nuoc mam or fish sauce is a main cooking ingredient in Vietnamese cooking. It gives many dishes the flavors that they have and oftentimes actually defines such dish. Substituting something else in its place will potentially turn whatever you're cooking into something else.
You didn't provide a reason why you don't want to use fish sauce, and why an alternative is needed. It may not be just substituting for the sake of substituting. So understanding the why can help people provide with better suggestions. Like if you ask about substitution for tomato to make tomato sauce for pasta dishes; the answer may be non-existent, or the substitution may result in something that is no longer tomato sauce.
Generally, a combination of salt, rock sugar and msg may do the job. Additionally, in my experience, using Vietnamese dried squids or dried shrimp may give you enhanced savory flavors. Adding daikon or other "root" vegetables can also add flavors. Beware though, that your beef pho will now take on a different flavor profile depending on how much you use these alternate ingredients and for how long you cook them. Some of these new flavors may be too overwhelming, so definitely use with care. At a minimum, watch the quantity and cooking time.
Not sure why OP asks for substitution to fish sauce, but if it's because of vegetarian reasons than suggestions like dried squid or dried shrimp are not that helpful.
For true Vietnamese taste and flavor you should use fish sauce. There's really no substitution for it. It'd help if you tell a little more about why you don't like fish sauce in your beef pho. Makes no sense unless you can't get fish sauce where you are. If all else fails, salt is your only option my friend, but don't count on great pho flavor.
Fish sauce is a main cooking ingredient in Viet cuisine, and Viet food without fish sauce would be incomplete. Just curious about your reason for seeking out fish sauce substitute, care to share why?
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