I have a question about the recipe "Green Thai Bowl with Coconut Poached Coho Salmon" from thespicegirl. What is the "fish paste" referred to in this recipe? Anchovy paste? Thanks, everyone. ;o)
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I suspect it's shrimp paste, which is a specialty ingredient found in Thai curries. Extremely strong (if you type "shrimp paste" into google images you'll get a few examples of the packaging) and should be toasted before using. Put the required amount on a square of aluminum foil, wrap it up and toss it in the oven or over the flame if you have a gas stove.
In a pinch, I imagine anchovy paste could be used but the flavour is different. You can also just leave it out and correct with fish sauce.
When I don't have Thai shrimp paste in my pantry, I usually just add 1tsp of a pre-made green curry paste (Mae Ploy, which always contains shrimp paste) along with the homemade paste. When I'm feeling decadent, I will fry the curry paste in the coconut cream. Frying the curry mixture that contains any amount shrimp paste gives a depth of flavor that is hard to achieve with fish sauce alone.
Darlene...that is brilliant advice to fry the curry paste in the coconut cream...will try that tomorrow!
It was Shrimp Paste which you can find in the asian section of most large grocery stores throughout Canada and USA. There is also a really great Asian Grocery store online called www.importfood.com which sells all kinds of great things fresh and packaged. They have great Thai Shrimp Paste. Remember when you are using either Thai Shrimp Paste or Thai Fish sauce that they are smelly but does not make the food taste this way. They both need to be balanced with something sweet like honey or sugar. When you are making any dishes which call for these ingredients remember to always add a little sweet to the salty flavor of these condiments. I hope you enjoy!
I hope you enjoy!