Bobbie's Boat Sauce was born somewhere near the coordinates of 53.1500° N, 128.7000° W, in the northern half of the Inside Passage, between Vancouver Island and the Alaskan Panhandle. It was onboard the S.V. Velouria, 9 days into a three week leg, that my shipmate caught a rockfish off the side of the boat, and I went to work in the galley to prepare something to go along with it.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then improvising a sauce with only ingredients on a boat is a first cousin. In the boat's tiny fridge I found half a can of tomato paste, a soft onion, and the brine from a jar of pickled carrots. In the pantry was fish sauce, spices, dried chilis, and a few remaining cloves of garlic. I started by sautéing the garlic and onion, adding tomato paste, then adjusting the acidity, sweetness, and spice, and until the right flavor profile emerged. With a final squeeze of a lime, this sauce held a perfect balance of acid, savoriness, sweetness, umami, and a little heat. Tomato was the perfect vehicle for transporting all of these notes. I had never tasted anything like this before, but it was a flavor I had been searching for my whole life.
Served with grilled rockfish and jasmine rice, it knocked our socks off. The next day, I tried it with scrambled eggs. Delicious! For lunch, I tucked a spoonful into a grilled cheese sandwich. Delightful! By the time this "boat sauce" was gone, I had scribbled down everything that I remembered about the making it, and by the time we docked in Prince Rupert, BC, I was hatching plans to develop this recipe commercially. Back in Portland, I got to work, reverse engineering my intuitive cooking process. Three years later, Bobbie's Boat Sauce launched in 2 varieties, Classic and Hot.
The serendipitous result of creativity, curiosity, and necessity, Bobbie's Boat Sauce's mission is to bring that spirit of discovery and inspiration to everything you love to eat!