There are many varieties of sauces made from anchovies.
Anchovy sauce is an extremely versatile condiment with a long history in different parts of the world and in different cooking styles. Modern cooks prepare several different varieties of anchovy sauce, often with a Mediterranean blend of spices, and tend to use these sauces in dishes associated with that region. Fish sauce, common in East Asian cuisine, is usually made from anchovies. Worcestershire sauce is a cousin of fish sauce and is commonly used in Western cuisine.
Fish sauce is common in East Asian cuisine and has a salty profile similar to soy sauce.
The Roman Empire consumed large amounts of anchovy sauce. This sauce, commonly known as garum, was produced by letting the fish ferment. Garum production was notorious for the stench it created, but the finished sauce was very versatile. The Romans used it to add flavor to almost any dish, but it was especially prized for its ability to add depth and richness of flavor to otherwise bland foods. Modern versions are still available and are often used in Italian cuisine, often serving to add flavor to meats or pasta.
Anchovy sauce is routinely added to fried dishes.
Worcestershire sauce is the very distant descendant of the ancient Roman garum. It is widely used in small amounts in Western cooking to add flavor complexity. The meat benefits from the rich flavor of this sauce. Like soy sauce, this condiment makes foods taste richer and more satisfying, and is commonly used in foods that have a rich, strong flavor, such as stews and stews.
Salted and spicy anchovy paste is used throughout East Asia to flavor soups and stews.
A slightly different version of fermented anchovy sauce is common in East Asian cuisine. Fish sauce is extraordinarily common in foods in Thailand, China and Vietnam. It has a slightly more complicated flavor profile than soy sauce, but brings a similar salty richness to the food. It is routinely added to stir-fried dishes and soups and is even a component of recipes for making Korean kimchi. This aroma has become more popular in Western food as well and is used in fusion dishes.
Fresh anchovy sauce is not as versatile as the fermented varieties, but it still has a wide range of culinary applications. These sauces often combine anchovies with olive oil, peppers and tomatoes, along with other ingredients common to the Mediterranean diet. Sauces made with tomatoes work great with pasta and also provide added flavor to meat dishes.
Sauces made with fewer additional ingredients retain more of the original flavor of the anchovies they are based on. These sauces can be used to flavor salads. They can also be added to other dishes to modify the flavor.