Fish Sauce with Chiles

May/June 2013

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Downright addictive, this spicy fish sauce recipe marries pungent fish sauce with the fire of chiles. Try it in place of plain fish sauce but use sparingly as it’s high in sodium. You can use this fish sauce immediately, but it will be very hot. As it settles over the following days the fish sauce will gradually get a little milder.

Fish Sauce with Chiles

Makes: 1 generous cup

Active Time:

Total Time:


  1. Chop or mince chiles with a knife or in a food processor. Be careful: you may want to wear gloves, because these chiles are hot. Wash your hands after handling them. Transfer the chiles to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add fish sauce, cover and shake to mix well. Store in the refrigerator.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate in an airtight jar for up to 1 month.
  • Tip: Look for fiery hot Thai “bird” chiles in well-stocked supermarkets or Asian markets. If you can’t find them, serrano or jalapeño chiles can be used as a substitute.
  • Tip: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian-food section of well-stocked supermarkets and at Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our recipe testing and nutritional analyses.


Per teaspoon: 7 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 397 mg sodium; 2 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

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Ease of Preparation
Total Time
15 minutes or less
8 or more
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique
May/June 2013
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