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Weekly Alibi
 Mar 8 - 14, 2007 
A world of fish sauce awaits.

Something’s Fishy

Q: Dear CBA,

I’ve been wondering for a while what the deal is with fish sauce. How can something that smells so gross be so popular? I mean, it smells like extra-putrid rotten fish. I’ve tried cooking with it, and the food ends up tasting like fish sauce smells.

I love Thai food, and I know they use a lot of fish sauce, so I’m wondering how they get away with it?

—Not Quite Hooked

A: Dear Unhooked,

I’ve experienced the same phenomenon, so I sympathize. The trick to using fish sauce is that you add a few drops to dishes that have strong flavors in other ways, and the power of the competing flavors balances out.

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