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Vietnamese fish sauce

Vietnamese fish sauce (Nuoc mam): A delicate touch to Vietnamese cuisine

27/11/2022 2408 views

Vietnamese fish sauce is an irreplaceable condiment for Vietnamese food, famous for its rich taste and laborious making process. The sauce can go with any Vietnamese dish as it will elevate the flavor of the dish and your Vietnamese culinary experience.

Vietnamese fish sauce

Vietnamese fish sauce, a delicate touch to Vietnamese cuisine (Source: Collected)

Vietnamese fish sauce, an indispensable ingredient in every Vietnamese household, is a highlight that you cannot miss out on during your Vietnam travel journey. With a long making process, the fish sauce is memorable for its combination of flavors, from sweet to salty. It will ensure that your culinary experience in Vietnam is completely satisfying.

1. What is Vietnamese fish sauce made of?

Vietnamese fish sauce has been playing its role as an irreplaceable part for Vietnamese food. The history of fish sauce can be traced back from centuries ago. It was when our ancestors attempted to find a way to preserve their plentiful catches of fish by fermenting them with salt, thus creating delicious drops of fish sauce. This method has existed until today, providing the modern Vietnamese people with a typical condiment in their meals.

Vietnamese fish sauce

The delicious fish sauce made from fish fermentation (Source: Collected)

In order to have its brown color and rich flavor, the fish sauce must undergo a making process that requires hard work and patience. The main ingredients of Vietnamese fish sauce is anchovies, salt, and a small portion of food additives such as flavor enhancers and sugar.

The anchovies are usually caught during the rainy season, from April to September. Traditionally bred in the Andaman sea, the anchovies in this area are said to be the best when it comes to making fish sauce. They can also be caught on Tho Cho Island, which is 70 miles away from Phu Quoc Island.

Salt is spread over the fish right after they are caught. This means that fermentation begins immediately once the fishermen catch the fish, which can ensure the best quality of fish possible. When the boats arrive on land, barrels are used to store salted fish for up to a year.

The whole process is monitored by specialists, who are responsible for tasting the sauce and sending the final sample to a lab that will confirm whether the sauce has met the standard.

Vietnamese fish sauce

The barrels used to make fish sauce (Source: Collected)

2. Which dishes are Vietnamese fish sauce served for?

Vietnamese fish sauce, with its unique savory taste, is used in a lot of dishes in Vietnam. It is used for many purposes, often as a cooking ingredient or dipping sauce. The dipping fish sauce can be mixed with water, sugar, and citrus. There are countless ways that fish sauce can complement Vietnamese meals.

Vietnamese fish sauce

Fish sauce can be used for dipping food (Source: Collected)

  • Vietnamese noodles with fish sauce

Vietnamese noodles (or pho) is one of the country’s most popular dishes, not only for locals but also for international visitors. While you can choose a variety of spices and sauces to eat with the noodles, one great option is to eat it with fish sauce. A few drops of the sauce into your noodle bowl will definitely elevate your meal.

  • Vietnamese fish sauce for spring rolls

Fish sauce can be used as dipping sauce for spring rolls, another popular dish in Vietnam with boiled pork, shrimps, and greens wrapped in paper rice. A bowl of fish sauce with water, sugar, and citrus can be served with the spring rolls for an enhanced Vietnamese culinary experience.

Vietnamese fish sauce

A bowl of dipping fish sauce as the main ingredient (Source: Collected)

  • Vietnamese fish sauce salad dressing

Vietnamese fish sauce can also serve as dressing for salad. You can mix the fish sauce with honey for a sweet and salty complement to your salad.

  • Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings

Vietnamese fish sauce can be used as a cooking ingredient for dishes such as chicken wings. It will add to the deliciousness of the dish with its sweet and salty flavor.

Vietnamese fish sauce

Chicken wings marinated with Vietnamese fish sauce (Source: Collected)

Besides the dishes mentioned above, Vietnamese fish sauce can be used with many other dishes. Whether as a cooking ingredient, dipping sauce, or dressing, fish sauce has always been a great complement to every Vietnamese dish.

3. The 5 best Vietnamese fish sauce brands for your choice

As fish sauce is one of the most iconic ingredients in Vietnamese cuisine, there are numerous brands contributing to the fish sauce-making industry, ensuring a variety of tastes and flavors for diners to choose from.

3.1. Nam Ngu fish sauce

Fermented in Nam Ngu, Phu Quoc, Nam Ngu fish sauce has been certified as one of the best fish sauce brands in Vietnam. The fish sauce contains more than 15 essential amino acids and is widely used as a marinating and seasoning ingredient for a lot of dishes.

Vietnamese fish sauce

Nam Ngu is one of the most famous Vietnamese fish sauce brands (Source: Collected)

3.2. Chau Son fish sauce

Chau Son fish sauce is made in Nha Trang, a city popular for not only its tourist attractiveness but also its tradition of making fish sauce.

3.3. Ca Na fish sauce

This fish sauce brand comes from Ca Na, a coastal area with long sunny days that provides high-quality salt and abundant nutrients for the fish sauce.

3.4. Hung Thinh fish sauce

Hung Thinh fish sauce is a popular traditional fish sauce brand. Coming from Phu Quoc Island, the brand provides fish sauce that serves excellently in Vietnamese dishes, especially for dipping.

3.5. Nha Trang 584 fish sauce

As one of the most famous fish sauce brands in Nha Trang, Nha Trang 584 fish sauce is known for its long history, with their anchovies contributing to the distinctively salty taste of the fish sauce.

4. Where to buy Vietnamese fish sauce on your trip?

Vietnamese fish sauce

The fish sauce making process (Source: Collected)

Since Vietnamese fish sauce is a popular component of Vietnamese cuisine, you can buy it at every store in Vietnam. However, the most delicious fish sauce is often sold at the place where it was manufactured. Therefore, famous fish sauce-making destinations such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan will be great places to try the sauce. You will also have many unforgettable memories while visiting the fish sauce factories there, learning about the fish sauce making process, and buying the finest Vietnamese fish sauces.

While you are in Phu Quoc, it is also recommended that you visit VinWonders Phu Quoc – the largest theme park in Vietnam with more than 100 exciting games and entertaining activities for you to try in 6 subdivisions. You can transform into a mighty warrior in the Mysterious Viking Village, or a Hawaiian to enjoy yourself in the Typhoon World water park, and more.

On the other hand, if you happen to be in Nha Trang, VinWonders Nha Trang is an ideal entertainment paradise for you. Its 6 subdivisions will surely offer you unforgettable experiences. You can play thrilling adventure games in the Adventure Land, beat the summer heat in the Water World, get immersed with the animals in the King’s Garden, and more.

Vietnamese fish sauce

VinWonders Phu Quoc

Vietnamese fish sauce

VinWonders Nha Trang

>>> Book tickets of VinWonders Phu Quoc and VinWonders Nha Trang for a memorable trip!

Vietnamese fish sauce plays an important role in the traditional culinary culture of Vietnamese people, as well as representing Vietnamese cuisine around the world. With its distinct flavors and color, fish sauce can promisingly satisfy even the most demanding diners.

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