Caramel Fish Sauce

I was recently referred to this recipe supposedly penned by Andrew "Bug Breath" Zimmern, which is published on the website of the world's worst culinary magazine, Food & Wine. Fish Sauce Caramel - sounds edgy! Further reading reveals that the recipe is pompous, intimidating, unbalanced and worst of all, BORING. the goodsOooooo but it's got "Asian Fish Sauce" in it. F&W Bitches, please - I drink "Asian Fish Sauce" or as we call it, fish sauce, from a FLASK. The concept is sound, it's a loose interpretation of a vietnamese nuoc cham, but it's too lose and really leaves a lot to be desired. So I'm here to rescue this poor concept from the obscurity of what the mentally handicapped authors of F&W consider "unusual". Caramel Nuoc Cham, Rogue Estate style:
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 C Water
Combine the Sugar, water and lemon juice in a 6 qt saucepan over medium high until it caramelizes. 15-20 minutes depending on your cooktop. stir occasionally not obsessively. When it gets to a pleasing caramel color, reduce the heat to the warm/simmer and stir in the following:
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Star Anise Powderimage
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1 tsp Sambal Chili Paste (or Sriracha pepper sauce.)
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbl Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Fish Sauce (the brand is really unimportant here.)
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 2 C finely diced Red or White Onion (whichever you prefer.)
Keep the whole mess simmering for 5 minutes while stirring to get everything cozy and warmed up, then turn the heat off and move the pan someplace to cool. Once it's below napalm levels, transfer to an appropriately sized bowl or jar with a sealable lid. Use it on damn near anything, keep it in the fridge for 2 weeks, as if it would actually last that long. "Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan" my ass. If you F&W tools are going to ghost write recipes for Zimmern, you could at least pretend to write in his voice and, heaven forbid, make the crap you're peddling accessible to your dwindling audience. -///
A consummate nerd, yet still plays well with others.

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