Uses For Patis

What Are The Best Uses for Filipino Fish Sauce

Fish sauce, more commonly known among Filipinos as patis, is a condiment widely used across Southeast Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.). If you haven’t come across this ingredient, it has a watery consistency with a salty, fishy taste. For the first-timers, opening a bottle might leave you disgusted due to its pungent smell.

You may have an idea about how it’s made because its name is pretty self-explanatory. But, to satisfy your curious mind, the fish sauce comes from soaking fish or shrimps in brine and leaving them to ferment for two years until they dissolve into a savory liquid. Anyway, as said earlier, if you have tried Southeast Asian cuisine, there’s a high chance you’re unaware that you have already tasted it.

Now that the holidays are here and you have parties and reunions all over your schedule, you’ll be cooking for your family and friends a lot. Create better-tasting meals by adding that umami flavor only patis can provide. To make planning your meals easier for you, we’ve come up with the best uses for fish sauce that you should try:

Dipping Sauce

Dipping Suace

Is there a Filipino meal complete without our famous sawsawan (dipping sauce)? The ingredients depend on who’s creating the sauce, so it’s better if you just put the fish sauce in a classy condiment container and let your guests pour as much as they like. Add a little bowl of sliced calamansi on the side, and a saucer of siling labuyo (small chili pepper). This is perfect if you have fish on the menu like Inihaw na Tilapia or Daing na Bangus.  Or let’s be honest here, we like to use this DIY sauce on any meal.

Filipino Soups

Nothing beats sipping sabaw (soup) on a cold weather. Adding patis to the most famous Filipino soups packs a flavorful punch that would turn anyone who tastes it into a raving fan of your home-cooked meals. Make your mama proud by recreating the classics: Chicken Tinola, Nilagang Baka, and Sinigang na Baboy.

Pad Thai

Close up of pansit bihon, a Filipino noodle dish

Of course, let’s not be biased on our cuisine. Let’s also shine a light to other Asian favorites. One of which is the renowned Pad Thai from, you guessed it, Thailand. To give you an idea, it’s like the Thai version of the Pancit Canton. This one is made with rice noodles stir-fried with ingredients including tamarind sauce, palm sugar, dried shrimp, and eggs. Sweet, sour, and salty, all mixed into one delicious dish you’ll surely love.


There’s a debate on which Filipino food is the national favorite: Adobo, Sinigang, or Lechon. But when it comes to Vietnam, we all know that it’s Pho. Much like Chicken Mami, Pho is a broth with noodles, vegetables, and meat. You can find it anywhere in Vietnam.

These are only a tiny fraction of all the wonderful food that you can cook with fish sauce. Feel free to take a look at other Filipino favorites in our Recipe section. There’s also no need to worry about where to get the ingredients. With Filstop, you can have all the hard-to-find Filipino food delivered right at your doorstep.

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