Gourmet fish sauce is all the rage. Old as the hills, it's being discovered as the “new miracle” (delicious & special) ingredient these days, even though high-quality fish sauce has been around for thousands of years.

Gourmet fish sauce has all the things that I don't like in a fresh fish.

The stink of high-quality fish sauce, which is the smell of fermentation, is big and vibrant in a strong kind of way. It’s a magical concoction, a potion for your food, so it really qualifies in the truest definition of an elixir. Though gourmet fish sauce is not so tasty to the tongue, it’s really hard to think of the brew as "fishy." Romance is what “elixir” means to me, and thus less fishy and more, well, sweetly romantic.

But as an ingredient, gourmet fish sauce is truly one of the most amazing things you can add to many, many dishes. From a drop to a splash to actually measuring out a potion, you can add flavor and taste with high-quality fish sauce like almost no other ingredient you can find.

It’s not just salt, though the sodium has to contribute to the enhanced flood of sensitivity in your sensors, it’s flavor that does it. The flavor, that fishy thing, mostly anchovies, umami, is strong and embodies thwack, pow!, swoosh!, whamm!  And the funny thing is, it never comes out as fishy. Instead, it brings out the best in whomever it has joined forces with on your plate.

Remember, a little, we’re talking drops, goes an amazingly long way. High-quality fish sauce is a kitchen secret from Southeast Asia; to Japan, aged in Whiskey Barrels; to slow-cookers in Italy; all different and all with amazing properties.

Add some to your next vinaigrette, spritz the greens in a sandwich, toss your veggies with some before you grill or add it to the marinade in your next slow cooked meat. Think of a tofu hotpot and a splash of elixir potion to send you to the next level, or at least your taste buds can go there!