Fish Sauce. I’m Totally Freaking Out. In My Brain.

So I was shopping at the local grocery store because I had a hankerin' for Panang Curry but couldn't afford the Thai restaurant we love so much, and I'd found this recipe, right? And it was super easy — just a few ingredients — and it included things like peanut butter, coconut milk, and fish sauce. 

But the fish sauce worried me, you know, because I don't really want to eat some strange fish's sauce. But that's what the recipe called for and since I always do exactly what I'm told I went and bought the sauce that is presumably made of fish. Or came from fish. Or is owned by fish. 

Anyway I bought the sauce along with a bunch of other foreign ingredients, and it was totally expensive, but I was totally expecting it to be fabu, right? So I went home and started pouring everything into my crockpot because that is the way really organized women do things. Then I opened the fish sauce . . . and woof! It completely destroyed my olfactory aura. Like it smelled as if a thousand herring had walked into my kitchen and died. 

But I didn't smell it until it was already mixed into the coconut milk, lime juice, and peanut butter because it had like a delayed smell-cloud-affect. I started turning green but I figured you know, it's fish. And so I decided not to worry about it and finished making the dish. 

And then when we were eating it I totally had a flashback and realized that the bottle hadn't had one of those little protective removable plastic covers over the lid. You know, the kind that are perforated and you tear them off and you feel all secure and happy about using the product because you know it has been tightly protected by perforated plastic and no psychopaths have probably gotten in and poisoned it, so you and your family won't die. 

And I started to have an apoplectic reaction because my bottle hadn't had that plastic seal and we were probably eating psychopath-poisoned fish sauce, and fish sauce probably just comes poisoned, I mean who cooks with sauce made from fish? Especially fish that have sat in a barrel and fermented for like a year and a half? 

So I looked at the bottle and realized that it had a non-removable lid — like it was part of the bottle. And the pour spout was more like a dropper spout, so if any fish-sauce-poisoning-psychopaths had gotten to it they would have to have used a syringe to put the poison in. And then I thought THAT'S IT! WE JUST NEED TO LOOK FOR A DRUGGIE WHOSE STASH SMELLS LIKE A THOUSAND DEAD HERRING! And we need to find them before we all die so they can at least be put in jail and pay for their heinous crime against fish sauce. And us.

And this is what I said as I stood in the returns line at the Customer Service counter at my local grocery store trying to get help.

They replaced my fish sauce.


About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. Fish sauce is totally stinky. We have some, too and use it in a great lime/peanut/soy thing that's great over spaghetti and broccoli. The rest of the time it hangs out in the back of the cupboard intimidating the Worcestershire sauce.

  2. Mmmm. That sounds mighty fine. I probably need to beg the recipe off of you.

    I love that your fish sauce intimidates the Worcestershire sauce. hah!

  3. You make me LOL and cry sometimes, this was hilarious. I think you're so funny because I can totally see you saying and thinking all of these things since I've been fortunate to know you all of your life. After your blog, I think I'll abstain from the lure of fish sauce.

  4. What a kind thing to say! Thank you. And yeah, I'd highly advise you to stay away from the fish sauce. I mean, anything that can intimidate Worcestershire sauce . . .

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. 7 Asian Condiments That Make Everything Taste Delicious | The Health & Nutrition Silo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.