Discovering fish sauce - the soul of Vietnamese food

Fish sauce has a special meaning to Vietnamese cuisine because it is an irreplaceable condiment in cooking, a kind of sauce appearing not only in family meal but also in street food shops or luxurious restaurants.

It is not an exaggeration to say that enjoying Vietnamese food without fish sauce is such a flaw. Some international tourists who travel to Vietnam and have tried fish sauce for the first time find its taste and smell uncomfortable.

However, they will be surprised knowing that if eating fish sauce many times, they would be “addicted” and find the food not delicious without a cup of fish sauce well mixed with other ingredients such as lemon, garlic and chili.

Let WHERETO introduce to you some interesting facts of Vietnamese fish sauce that you may not know.

How to make fish sauce?

The area of barrels containing fish sauce at a fish sauce village of Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province - Photo: Internet

The area of barrels containing fish sauce at a fish sauce village of Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province, Vietnam - Photo: Internet

Fish sauce is the mash liquor leaking out of salted sea fish for days. The traditional method to make fish sauce is to mix fish and salt according to the proportion of 3:1 (3 fish – 1 salt), then to put the mixture into a sealed huge wooden barrel.

Fish sauce is transparent with a deep golden amber color and has not the smell of fish.

The value of fish sauce to Vietnamese

A cup of fish sauce cannot be missed in a Vietnamese meal - Photo: Internet

A cup of fish sauce cannot be missed in a Vietnamese meal - Photo: Internet

Fish sauce is the popular sauce which is indispensable in a family meal of Vietnamese. The image of family members dip their food into a cup of fish sauce placed at the middle of the tray is a symbol of community and share in Vietnamese culture. 

Fish sauce is one of prides of Vietnamese cuisine. Along with the development of Vietnamese tourism, more and more tourists know about and love fish sauce.

How to mix fish sauce?

When cooking, Vietnamese often add fish sauce to make dishes more delicious - Photo: Internet

When cooking, Vietnamese often add fish sauce to make dishes more delicious - Photo: Internet

Vietnamese use fish sauce to make every dishes more delicious.

When used as a kind of sauce, fish sauce is mixed according to various recipes depending on dishes. Each region of Vietnam also has different recipes.

Here are some mixing methods: pure fish sauce with some slices of chili; fish sauce with wine, garlic, sugar, chili and lemon juice; fish sauce with chili and crushed peanut; fish sauce with chili and pepper; fish sauce with chili and ginger.

fish sauce with chili - Foto: Internet

Fish sauce with chili - Photo: Internet

Fish sauce with garlic and chili - Foto: Internet

Fish sauce with garlic and chili - Photo: Internet

Fish sauce with chili and ginger - Foto: Internet

Fish sauce with chili and ginger - Photo: Internet

Fish sauce with chili and crushed peanut - Photo: Internet

Fish sauce with chili and crushed peanut - Photo: Internet

Some Vietnamese sites famous for fish sauce

Making fish sauce is one of traditional jobs of Vietnamese. In Vietnam, all coastal sites make fish sauce. Here are some famous sites for fish sauce of Vietnam:

* Phu Quoc Island (Kien Giang Province) 

Phu Quoc is a large island in the West of Vietnam, Kien Giang Province. Fish sauce of Phu Quoc is not only famous in Vietnam but also well-known all over the world. It often has the color of reddish brown.

* Phan Thiet City (Binh Thuan, Province)

Phan Thiet is a beach city of Binh Thuan Province, Central of Vietnam. Phan Thiet fish sauce is the common name of fish sauce kind having Phan Thiet as the origin  

The main ingredients of Phan Thiet fish sauce are anchovy and salt grain. It often has the color of golden amber.

Phan Thiet fish sauce is famous for its taste and smell, and even for the tradition of fish sauce villages here.

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