Fish Sauce & Summer Salad with Shrimp and Melon

June 23rd, 2010 / comments 2

The first time I was aware of fish sauce, I thought that the sewage pipe had broken in our Singapore kitchen. I was upstairs getting ready to go out to dinner and Beth, a young Filipina who lived with us, was cooking dinner for my sons. Beth was not a great cook but the boys always enjoyed the chicken adobo she made. I ran to the kitchen, expecting to have to deal with toxic waste, and found Beth laughing. She assured me that the smell was just a bit of fish sauce that she had poured into a hot pan.
fish three c egbert Fish Sauce & Summer Salad with Shrimp and Melon
I couldn’t believe that something that smelled so terrible could make anything taste good. I soon learned that fish sauce has been used, around the world for at least 2500 years to add flavor and as a main ingredient in both dipping sauces and dressings for grilled meat and fish, noodle and vegetable salads. Fish sauce is made by fermenting fish that have been layered with salt and it imparts umami, a Japanese word that translates as “good taste”, to food. Garum was the name for fish sauce to ancient Romans but it was usually referred to as that “evil smelling sauce”. Not only did Romans use it to season meat and fish dishes there is mention of its use in a pear and honey souffle!
fish y c egbert Fish Sauce & Summer Salad with Shrimp and Melon Fish sauce is the ingredient that transformed a shrimp and vegetable salad into a Vietnamese inspired, summer salad that was grand enough to serve at an elegant dinner party. This salad combines many of the flavors of Southeast Asia and can be varied to suit your palate, pantry and pocketbook. Pork or chicken can be substituted for shrimp, and mangos or other melons can be substituted for the watermelon. Rather than making this salad in a large salad bowl I made individual salads. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables with Rice Noodles

June 22nd, 2009 / comments 7

[donotprint]Inspiration is a curious thing. Dinner last night was inspired by a head of organic, iceberg lettuce from the farmers’ market.

iceberg+lettuce+01 Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables with Rice Noodles

This huge head of crispy, sweet lettuce made me long for Bún Nướng, a Vietnamese salad with noodles and grilled pork.

Never mind that I didn’t have the right rice noodles, pork or spring roll. I was inspired and wanted to use the grill that came with my new range!

Along with the lettuce I did have asparagus, a red pepper, a red onion, a jalapeno pepper, garlic, ginger, and limes in the frig; shrimp in the freezer; and, fish sauce, rice noodles and peanuts in the pantry.

shrimp+rice+noodle+bunn+ingd+01 Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables with Rice Noodles

Here’s how I did it:[/donotprint] … read more

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