Archive for September, 2013

September 29, 2013

Hannelore’s Amazing Fish Sauce

photo (13)

This past April Jim and I traveled to DC to visit our friends, Hannelore and Didier. Newly relocated to DC from Vienna, Hannelore is the Bureau Chief for the ORF (see this link for more) and Didier is a retired French journalist. They had led an amazingly romantic life with postings all over the world. Most recently, they have been in Vienna where they have raised their children, Charlotte and Alex.

Hannelore is one of those cooks who seems to effortlessly assemble ingredients, no measuring, and everything tastes fantastic. We arrived after a difficult drive down I-95 to a delightful dinner of salmon, fresh salad and rice. Hannelore threw this Thai Fish sauce together in about 30 seconds and it has become a standard in our household.

Equal parts lime juice and fish sauce

Diced dried chili pepper


This sauce was so simple and yet so tasty. The trick is to not go overboard with the chili pepper. One is fine, two makes it pretty hot. You can see the chilis in the photo above.

Of course, having this base recipe is a great launching pad for variation. If you are pressed for time, the basic sauce takes two minutes. If you have more time, there is room to riff. I love to add chopped scallion and diced ginger. It amplifies the Thai theme and adds more body and chewiness. This sauce works well with tuna, salmon and would probably do wonderful things with chicken.

Try it. Play with it. Heaven knows where Hannelore learned of this sauce, but it is the perfect example of something which can be shared and amplified. Enjoy!!

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