Only weeks away from 5 weeks of travel in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia, this morning saw me laughing at myself as I walked back home from my local Asian supermarket with a small bottle of Thai fish sauce. The very ingredient that, in 2002, during my first trip to Cambodia, I swore I would never use again.
However, it’s not possible to cook Asian food without a good fish sauce, and today I’m making a sauce that requires it – and my current bottle is well past its use by date.
Travelling around the Battambang area on the back of a motorbike (as all 50 plus solo-travellers do, surely) my young guide took me to a village that specialised in fish: drying fish as well as making fish sauce. It was the smell of these tiny fish, layered, in barrels that made me think ‘I will never use that again.’ Like many things I’ve said ‘I’ll never do again’, I of course did, and like today, do, do them, or use them, again and again :-).