Find some time on a Sunday afternoon to make fish sauce.
I’ve taken to using this quick DIY fish sauce over anchovies in a jar when it’s time to make kimchi. It’s not really a short cut because opening a jar would be faster than making even this fast fish essence.
Toast the anchovies and put them in a glass jar or bottle, add apple cider vinegar, coarse salt and let sit. I didn’t have enough vinegar so I used some Grüner Veltliner to make up for it.
You could strain and use as is, or blend everything in a blender and then strain. I’ve tried it both ways and can say either method will yield you the fishy results you’re going after.
Part of me thinks I can’t call this concoction a fish ‘sauce’, that somehow it’s more of an ‘essence’. Maybe because it doesn’t take as long to make as a sauce might?
But you’ll see this recipe packs a mighty punch of fish. It’s not wimpy. So you don’t have to worry about that.
Though I make this recipe primarily for kimchi, I think you could sprinkle it over your sautéed leafy greens e.g. collards and mustard greens for a nice finish.
20 dried anchovies
1 cup apple cider vinegar (or white, rice wine)
3-4 tsp of coarse salt (add more to taste or omit altogether for less salty flavor)
1. Toast anchovies in a pan over low heat for about 15 minutes. A perforated, cast iron, or saute pan are all good choices.
2. In a glass bottle or jar, add anchovies, vinegar and salt. Let sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to over night.
3. Strain before use. You can keep adding vinegar to your fish and coarse salt mixture and keep using until the concoction has lost its fishy punch.