When writing about Emeril’s Wok Seared Duck Salad, I mentioned his recommendation for fish sauce with the ingredient list. Shortly after posting, Red Boat Fish Sauce asked if I would try their sauce to compare. I only recommend products I like and use, so it has taken me a couple of weeks to put it to the test.
Starting with Shrimp Lo Mein, I was pleased with the clean, bright flavor that melded perfectly into the sauce without being too salty or fishy. The second recipe we tried it in was Pad Thai with Beef (below) and again, it brought a balanced dimension of savory flavor. I was equally pleased to discover this new sauce has so few ingredients, just anchovies and sea salt.
Additives like hydrolyzed vegetable protein is commonly used in commercial fish sauces as a short cut to enhance flavor. According to Celiac Solution, “HVP (hydrogenated vegetable protein), HPP (hydrolyzed plant protein), TVP (textured vegetable protein), MSG (monosodium glutamate) could contain wheat if made outside of the U.S.A.” This is a concern for anyone trying to avoid gluten and still enjoy Asian foods.
We cannot always be sure about the ingredients used in restaurants, but at home, I use pure, whole ingredients, as close to the natural source whenever possible. I look for products like Red Boat to add to my pantry because quality ingredients make a difference in taste and eliminating unnecessary additives from our food is important to us.
Adapted from Emeril’s Pad Thai
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