I was interested in fish sauce, so I Googled it and read a few web pages about it, and the web pages asserted that the best brand of fish sauce was Squid Brand. Armed with this information, I decided to make a trip to Bangluck Thai Market on Hollywood Blvd. There I bought a bunch of good things: fish sauce, a tub of Mae Ploy curry paste, three cans of sardines, two cans of Asian fruits, and some kind of Asian drink. The total damage for this haul was a ridiculously cheap $14.55.
When it came time to cook, I had no idea how much fish sauce was enough, so I ingested a spoonful of the stuff. It was an incredibly powerful blast of pure refined fermanted fish -- a fishiness that kept coming back and back until I thoroughly rinsed my mouth and even then didn't give up. Good stuff. So I warmed up half a box of chicken broth and mixed in some garlic, a good spoonful of Mae Ploy, and several shakes of fish sauce. I then cooked some chicken and beans in the resulting mixture until most of the liquid had cooked away. The result was a ferocious curry, with the fish sauce adding a major dimension that wasn't obnoxious at all.