Buyer's guide

Available in Asian supermarkets, it’s sold in tins or jars, or as hard slabs or cakes.


While fish sauce can be used without further cooking, shrimp pastes such as blachan (which also give savoury saltiness to dishes) are always cooked. Typically they are fried or grilled, either alone or as part of a spice paste, until fragrant, before being combined with other ingredients.