Fish Sauce Caramel

Serves 8-10 Prep Time 2 minutes   Cook Time 12 minutes   Rated:

Before you freak sauce is a common ingredient in caramel sauce, and in fact this sauce could be used for both savoury and sweet applications...see below!

Fish sauce adds depth and umami to caramel, enhancing its savoury notes. It provides a subtle brininess that complements the sweetness of caramel. The combination creates a complex flavour profile, balancing sweetness with a hint of salty richness.

We are using this caramel as part of our Fish Sauce Coffee Ice Cream recipe for the Vietnamese cooking class...hopefully you are across that. I first experienced a fish sauce coffee (which tasted like melted ice cream to me, thus the idea was born) in Vietnam on one of our foodie tours. As a non coffee drinker I was intrigued and had to give it a go. I was worried it was born of social media and would be just weird, but it was actually delicious. So in breaking down the idea of the ice cream recipe, we decided to create this caramel, which can be used in other ways.

It does smell a bit funky when you are cooking it, but ventilate the kitchen and keep going. We used unsalted butter and I think this is important to note. Fish sauces vary quite a lot in saltiness, so this is how you can control the level of salt in the sauce. You can add salt afterwards if you think it needs it. I have a bit of an issue with 'salted caramel' anything (in restaurants etc) not being salty enough to really call themselves 'salted'. The salt balances the sweetness so nicely that I prefer saltier, as opposed to not enough.

Try it on any of the following (with caution);

Savoury Fish Bites

Fish Sauce Coffee Ice Cream

Killer Vanilla Ice Cream

Poached Snapper Salad with Crispy Rice

Turmeric Caramel Fish

Thai Velvet Chicken Stir Fry

Aunty Debbie's Banana Bread

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Place all ingredients into the Thermomix bowl and cook 12 min/Varoma/speed 2/spatter guard.


Or to speed things up a notch, if you are really in a hurry for that dessert....throw it all in a saucepan, whack it onto the induction and stir to combine. Cook around 2-3 min/Induction 5 until bubbling and thickened.


Taste the sauce and decide if you need more fish sauce or even a pinch of salt. This will be dependent on the fish sauce you use.

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