Funky, umami-rich fish sauce is the one ingredient we can't live without. Our favorite brand is Red Boat 40°N Extra-Virgin Fish Sauce. This sauce has amassed a devoted chef following, as well as the Cooking Light Kitchen staff. Red Boat is made with wild black anchovies, sea salt, and a "first press" extraction technique that results in a smoother, rounder flavor and higher protein levels (the mark of the purest fish sauce).

PRO TIPWhen exploring fish sauce brands, look at the label. There should be only two ingredients: fish and salt. No additional water or preservatives should be added.


Here are twelve ways to use fish sauce in your recipes to get the most out of them.

  1. Add to burgers or meat loaf.
  2. Brush over chicken thighs before grilling.
  3. Whisk into mayo for a dip or sauce.
  4. Stir into marinara or Bolognese sauce.
  5. Stir into guacamole.
  6. Puree into creamy tomato or mushroom soup.
  7. Whisk into Caesar or ranch dressing.
  8. Add to pan while caramelizing onions.
  9. Toss with broccoli florets before oven-roasting.
  10. Stir into grits before topping with shrimp.
  11. Add to meaty baked beans.
  12. Drizzle a dash into gumbo.