I would like to try more southeast asian recipes but a lot of them require fish sauce as an ingredient. The problem is I am really turned off by the pungent nature of the sauce when it comes out of the bottle or during cooking. The only one I've tried is a Three Crabs brand (Viet Huong) but the smell was so strong the first time I cooked with it that I haven't used it again. I don't have a total aversion to fish sauce because I enjoy eating Thai and Vietnamese cuisine but cooking with it is a real challenge.
Did I pick a bad brand? Are there milder brands out there that will not sacrifice flavor? By the way, if someone has found a great substitute for this ingredient, I'd love to hear about it as well.
I look forward to all your suggestions!