Salt makes food delicious; there’s just no way around it. Whether you get that savory, flavor-enhancing boost from soy sauce or sel gris, no dish is complete without it. But research suggests we should be careful about how much we eat. Too much sodium will, at best, cause you to bloat. At worst, eating high amounts of sodium could raise your blood pressure, along with the risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Luckily, science has discovered a solution: fish sauce.
A recent study from the Institute of Food Technologists published in the Journal of Food Science found that adding fish sauce as a partial salt-substitute to tomato sauce, coconut curry and chicken broth reduced the typical sodium chloride levels by 10 to 25 percent while retaining the same umami effect and perceived saltiness. Researchers hope that the results of the study will help chefs and food manufacturers create lower-sodium foods that still taste great.
Want to start experimenting with fish sauce? While it’s a necessity in dishes like Thai curries, it’s also great on chicken wings or in a refreshing salad dressing. Get to know the funky Southeast Asian staple by making a few of these fantastic recipes.