"Spooning Fish Sauce into Bowl. Yum Khai Dao, Thai Egg Salad. Part of a series."
The Fish Sauce Alton Brown Can't Stop Using
By Heidi Chaya
Fish sauce is a seasoning made from fermented fish or shrimp with a distinctive smell and salty taste that is most prevalent in Asian cuisine. You can see different brands in the grocery stores, but celebrity chef Alton Brown has one preferred fish sauce brand.
Brown's favorite fish sauce is Red Boat, and he uses it in traditional preparations like Pad Thai and side dishes like his Sesame Peanut Sprouts. Founded by Vietnam immigrant Cuong Pham, Red Boat is renowned for its purity, which is described as simple, salty, and freshly oceanic, with notes of oolong tea, caramelized onions, and a bit of sweetness.
Red Boat is rarely found in local grocery stores, but you can substitute it with brands like New Town, Tiparos, and the smoky artisanal collaboration BLiS. Fish sauce has a deep umami flavor with a light texture that makes it suitable for sauces, salad dressings, marinades, and braising meat and fish, or try adding a few dashes to your chili or with vegetables like Alton Brown.