fish sauce

noun
a spicy sauce made from the fermented liquid of salt-cured fish, especially anchovies, popular as a flavoring or condiment in Southeast Asian cookery.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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fish sauce

in Southeast Asian cookery, a liquid seasoning prepared by fermenting freshwater or saltwater fish with salt in large vats. After a few months time, the resulting brownish, protein-rich liquid is drawn off and bottled. It is sometimes allowed to mature in the sun in glass or earthenware bottles before use. Called nam pla in Thailand, nuoc nam in Vietnam, patis in the Philippines, tuk trey in Cambodia, ngan-pya-ye in Myanmar (Burma), and ketjap ikan in Indonesia, fish sauce is as ubiquitious as soy sauce in the region, being especially important in Thailand and Vietnam. The oyster sauce of Chinese cookery is a similar preparation, used especially in Cantonese dishes

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Heat minestrone up in a small pan, adding soy and fish sauce and sesame oil.
Such dishes include rice paper to wrap the ingredients into tasty rolls
  suitable for dipping in fish sauce.
Both versions are accompanied by sweetened fish sauce and whole garlic cloves.
The relatively large amount of fish sauce is important for the flavor of the
  dish.
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