Key Ingredients


Another question: I’m doing a simple marinara for chicken parmesan, not bolognese. Would you add fish sauce to that?


Sure why not - fish sauce is added to dishes to give an extra boost in umami/MSG and since tomatoes already have some umami fish sauce will add some more depth but add it slowly (one teaspoon at a time)

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That would have been my rec…a little at a time. It just gives a ‘brightness.’

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Obviously you’ve never heard of Colatura di Alici


We always add fish sauce to any red sauce we make, even pizza sauce!

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It turned out great. I’ll post on the What’s Cooking? thread.

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Any dish as a substitute for anchovies, e.g. broccoli, greens, spicy sweet potatoes with bacon, lamb or pork daube.

I’ll add a little Red Boat 40°N when correcting the seasoning on any dish if I think it needs more umami.

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Neither have most Italians! I think it’s better known here than in Italy (outside of parts of Campania).


Obviously. :roll_eyes: Ipse, my dear, sometimes you must try not to be so highbrow. I clicked on the link to your post thinking it will explain what exactly Colatura di Alici is, but nope. I’m guessing by the comparisons to fish sauce it must be similar.

This is also an information board, dear, not just for insiders (I think?). Some of us peasants need a little help.

P.S. I’ll check out Colatura di Alici. :slight_smile:


Hah… while cooking I was thinking just that - use it in dishes that would be complimented by anchovies. Gotta’ love this board.


Colatura di alici is generally similar to Red Boat. Both are made by fermenting anchovies and salt in wood barrels, then draining off the juice and filtering it. The species of anchovies, type and age of wood, length of time they’re fermented, and other details make a difference in flavor that some people think justifies the higher price.

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Thanks! I’ll have to see just how higher the price is lol. I will spend $$$ on condiments, but if you can’t really tell the difference why bother. I love fresh garlic and only use jarred in a pinch. But I have a cousin who is an excellent cook - folks travel miles for her cooking (I’ll be doing it today). I don’t think I’ve ever seen her chop a fresh clove of garlic or bulb of ginger, so…

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Ahhh, what the heck. Since we’re discussing it, here is a picture of the dish. I’ll put more detail on What’s Cooking.

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Here is one of my key ingredients…

It ups the umami in almost everything savory. Also a good substitute when you don’t have shrooms but want an earthy flavor and aroma.

P.S. Do I get a badge for my first use of the term Umami on FTC?


That’s 98% salt, 2% freeze-dried black summer truffles, and “aromi,” aka things like 2,4-dithiapentane. That tiny hint of real truffles can’t make a significant contribution to the effect.

Umami = glutamic acid or glutamates.

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Okay, I may not have the umami-ness concept down yet. But you should taste and smell the salt before talking (writing). It really does it for me and my cooking.

Edit: I purposely posted the ingredients because I knew the anything but fresh truffle detractors would go off. Bingo! I mean, should I not post something that works for me because the you’s might turn your nose up at it? But I’m glad you posted that. It pushes the dialogue forward.


Well, said, dear. Very well said.

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Thanks Cath


I like synthetic truffle aroma, I just don’t want to pay a premium or support sleazy companies with misleading product labels. There’s no reason the stuff should cost much more than any other flavored salt or oil.