The Bloody Caesar gets an Asian makeover

Illustration for article titled The Bloody Caesar gets an Asian makeoverem/em
Photo: memoriesarecaptured, WichienTep, jahcottontail143 (iStock)
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Umami Issues is The Takeout’s exploration of cooking food with the rich, savory, mysterious taste sensation known as umami. 

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In my view, it took about 10 years for fish sauce to go from ewwwww what sauce?! to beloved mainstream acceptance. This is wonderful news. Fish sauce isn’t the most appealingly branded, but its name belies an appealing palate-rich savoriness that can be added to many dishes. (My colleague Kate, in fact, just wrote this piece about unexpected ways to incorporate fish sauce.)

It had me wondering: Can I use fish sauce in, say, a cold beverage? It’s common to add Worcestershire sauce to a Bloody Mary, so what’s the logical next step?

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So I tried adding a few drops of fish sauce into Clamato, the tomato juice drink that counts clam broth as an ingredient, and basis of the much-loved Canadian cocktail the Bloody Caesar. A little bit of fish sauce here works splendidly—you’re essentially amplifying the zestiness of the drink. Then it only made sense to push forward the Southeast Asian narrative with a squirt of Sriracha, and if you desire, a shot of vodka. Boom: The Asian Bloody Caesar.

This recipe is not for everyone. But if you’re a card-carrying member of the umami army, you should be at full attention.

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

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DISCUSSION

I had never heard of a Bloody Caesar until I read this and now all I can say is, “That’s a bloody shame.’ Whoever invented Clamato should be immersed in it until they understand the error of their ways.

That recipe reminds me of the crap kids would mix together and dare each other to drink.