LTH Home

Fish Sauce Recommendations

Fish Sauce Recommendations
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 3
  • Post #31 - February 9th, 2012, 2:58 pm
    Post #31 - February 9th, 2012, 2:58 pm Post #31 - February 9th, 2012, 2:58 pm
    Thank you. You convinced me to go back to H mart to get 3 Gold Fish. But it will cost me since I had promised myself no to return after a few bad experiences in the fish dept, and after buying a terrible frozen Chinese rabbit there.
    As far as checking the dates on packages and cans and bottles sold at Viet Hoa, I can tell you that it has been a regular practice of mine for years.
  • Post #32 - February 9th, 2012, 3:38 pm
    Post #32 - February 9th, 2012, 3:38 pm Post #32 - February 9th, 2012, 3:38 pm
    Viet Hoa has, at least as of a couple of hours ago, a supply of Red Boat N40 for $7.50 per bottle.

    Viet Hoa
    1051 W Argyle St.
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773-334-1028
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #33 - February 17th, 2012, 8:11 am
    Post #33 - February 17th, 2012, 8:11 am Post #33 - February 17th, 2012, 8:11 am
    G Wiv wrote:Viet Hoa has, at least as of a couple of hours ago, a supply of Red Boat N40 for $7.50 per bottle.
    Got a call from an LTHer who was at Viet Hoa and did not see Red Boat. Red Boat is not with the other fish sauce, but in the back left hand corner of the first room (south wall) eye level mixed in with the oyster sauce.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #34 - March 9th, 2012, 10:50 pm
    Post #34 - March 9th, 2012, 10:50 pm Post #34 - March 9th, 2012, 10:50 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Viet Hoa has, at least as of a couple of hours ago, a supply of Red Boat N40 for $7.50 per bottle.

    A belated thank you for that hot tip. I bought a bottle of Red Boat within a few hours of your post. I'd been looking for it at local shops for months. I even emailed the company about sources in Chicago but they never responded. I was just about to mail order it.

    It's very good stuff, worth seeking out. I compared Squid, Double Golden Fish (Superior Grade, orange label) and Red Boat (40°N). Squid is from Thailand; both Double Golden Fish and Red Boat are from Phu Quoc, Vietnam. In addition to tasting all three straight I used them in a simple recipe (more or less from Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen) that really showcases the nuoc mam. This is an astonishingly tasty dish especially considering how simple it is. It has become a standby for me when I really don't feel like cooking.

      • Add 2 or 3 tablespoons fish sauce to a cup of water (adjust total volume according to size of pot) and bring to a simmer.
      • Add fried tofu squares (either purchased or fried at home; I used Sun Xien brand) and gently simmer half-submerged for 4 or 5 minutes.
      • Flip tofu and simmer another 4 or 5 minutes; half or more of the liquid should be absorbed.
      • Serve with thinly sliced green onion tops and some cilantro leaves. A little acid is good: I like a small dish of some thinly sliced red Thai chilies marinated in rice vinegar or a simple salad of marinated cucumber slices with red onion and chilies.

    I'm a fan of Squid brand from Thailand but it's really not appropriate for this dish. Its extreme saltiness and dominant fishy flavor are best used in conjunction with other strong flavors such as in many Thai curries. Tofu simmered in Squid needs a squeeze of two of lemon to be enjoyable (and even then it's a bit much).

    Both the Vietnamese sauces made very enjoyable tofu but Red Boat has more subtlety and complexity. Both Double Golden Fish and Red Boat have similar levels of salt but Double Golden Fish seems saltier and less rounded. Red Boat has a pleasant hint of Parmesan aroma and flavor, mostly lacking in Double Golden Fish. Honestly, both are similar enough I doubt I could distinguish them in many recipes. But I think Red Boat really shines when used as a table condiment or in simple dishes with nuoc mam as a major ingredient. Sure it's twice the price of other sauces but so little is used at a time that cost is largely irrelevant. Red Boat is one of those ingredients I'll find it hard to ever be without.
  • Post #35 - March 10th, 2012, 8:15 am
    Post #35 - March 10th, 2012, 8:15 am Post #35 - March 10th, 2012, 8:15 am
    If you like the Red Boat 40 for table sauces, then you will love the Red Boat 50!
    It is not for cooking in my opinion but the most flavorful fish sauce I have ever tasted.
    Only problem it's expensive and so far only available by mail order.-Dick
  • Post #36 - May 26th, 2012, 5:27 pm
    Post #36 - May 26th, 2012, 5:27 pm Post #36 - May 26th, 2012, 5:27 pm
    Just back from a brief tour (well, if two stores can count as a tour) of "Asian" markets on the northwest-ish side. At the second, Assi Plaza, while looking for something entirely different, I came across a surprisingly large--even considering where I was--selection of fish sauces. Bearing in mind various warnings, particularly Mike Sula's from The Reader, I was surprised to find something that seems to be the real thing. First, the maker is Thanh Ha Fish Sauce Co., Ltd; second, it indicates it is manufactured at "KP5, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island." But the little logo, such as it is, has a picture of five crabs. Also, unlike the 3 Crabs brand (which features three green crabs in a blue-bordered box), the brand is not called "Five Crabs" anywhere and, in any event, the crabs are golden/reddish colored. (I'll try to get around to taking a picture and posting it soon; oddly enough, the thanhhaco.vn website does not appear to list this product; hmmm...fake label? sure doesn't seem like it...) The ingredient list lists only anchovies, salt, and water. The bottle is a gorgeous caramel-colored liquid; no sediment whatsoever. Oh, $2.99!

    So: did I, like, score a hit :D

    or waste my money? :cry:


    Just discovered a picture here. Click on the bottle and you'll get a small blowup if you use the little magnifying glass.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #37 - May 27th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    Post #37 - May 27th, 2012, 12:23 pm Post #37 - May 27th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    "So: did I, like, score a hit"

    You have to taste it and have a comparison of what is a good fish sauce. -Dick
  • Post #38 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:33 am
    Post #38 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:33 am Post #38 - July 23rd, 2012, 7:33 am
    FYI
    I found Red Boat at Fresh Farms on Touhy yesterday during one of our forays.
    Certainly easier to get to than Argyle St for those in the Northern burbs.
    Still the best I have tasted.-Dick
  • Post #39 - July 23rd, 2012, 9:22 am
    Post #39 - July 23rd, 2012, 9:22 am Post #39 - July 23rd, 2012, 9:22 am
    tatterdemalion wrote:On the subject of fish sauce analyses:

    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=113408#p113408


    What I find interesting about that analysis is that Squid is listed as a premium brand, and Tiparos as the cheaper alternative that most Thai kitchens here use. Where I'm at, Squid is significantly cheaper than Tiparos. I bought a 25 oz bottle of Squid for $1.49 yesterday. The equivalent (or nearest, I think it was 23 oz) size of Tiparos was $2.49, I think. (edit: it's $2.09. Three Crabs, meanwhile, was $4.49 for the 24 oz bottle.) Maybe the prices are different when you get it in bulk, but at my Asian supply store on Pulaski just south of the Stevenson, Squid is the cheaper alternative.

    I'm not sure if I should piggy back on this thread, or start another one, but anyone have oyster sauce recommendations? There are just so many brands, and I usually just end up with the Lee Kum Kee/Panda, as it's a known quantity, but I have no idea what to look for in terms of one brand over another.
  • Post #40 - May 10th, 2014, 1:09 pm
    Post #40 - May 10th, 2014, 1:09 pm Post #40 - May 10th, 2014, 1:09 pm
    Stopped by Hoa Nam today seeking some Red Boat fish sauce. According to the shop owner, Red Boat ran into some legal troubles with respect to branding and have rebranded themselves at Hai Ngu. He claims it's the same stuff just in a different bottle.

    20140510_140628.jpg
  • Post #41 - May 11th, 2014, 3:20 am
    Post #41 - May 11th, 2014, 3:20 am Post #41 - May 11th, 2014, 3:20 am
    Nothing about that on the Red Boat web site:
    http://redboatfishsauce.com
  • Post #42 - May 11th, 2014, 8:41 am
    Post #42 - May 11th, 2014, 8:41 am Post #42 - May 11th, 2014, 8:41 am
    Very interesting to say the least - the label certainly makes you think of Red Boat, and both claim to be extra virgin from Phu Quoc, and carry the 40 degrees north designation. Worth a try certainly. They didn't have any with the 50 degrees north label, did they?
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #43 - May 11th, 2014, 9:26 am
    Post #43 - May 11th, 2014, 9:26 am Post #43 - May 11th, 2014, 9:26 am
    No I didn't see any 50N. I couldn't find anything written about the change in branding online so I only have the shop owner's intel to go on.
  • Post #44 - May 11th, 2014, 10:56 am
    Post #44 - May 11th, 2014, 10:56 am Post #44 - May 11th, 2014, 10:56 am
    Sounds fishy :)
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #45 - May 11th, 2014, 8:38 pm
    Post #45 - May 11th, 2014, 8:38 pm Post #45 - May 11th, 2014, 8:38 pm
    Fish Sauce Taste Test, 13 Brands Compared

    http://ourdailybrine.com/fish-sauce-taste-test/
  • Post #46 - May 12th, 2014, 9:00 am
    Post #46 - May 12th, 2014, 9:00 am Post #46 - May 12th, 2014, 9:00 am
    Considering the lax regulation on trademarks or brand labeling in Viet Nam, I would be pretty surprised if the Hai Ngu was the real stuff, though we can be hopeful. Word has it that a lot of fish sauces that claim to be from Phu Quoc are not at all. If this replacement turns out to be be fake, I'm glad I stocked up with 4 bottles of the real stuff last time I was at Hoa Nam.

    Do you remember what the price of the bottle was?
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #47 - May 13th, 2014, 9:05 am
    Post #47 - May 13th, 2014, 9:05 am Post #47 - May 13th, 2014, 9:05 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:Sounds fishy :)

    +1

    Nothing to learn on the Internet except that it's available.
    Have been using fish sauce for twp decades and when I ordered some 40N & 50N from Red Boat, I just knew I had hit the best. We had a blind tasting that supports the latest blind tasting Posted here.
    I use nothing but Red Boat 40N for cooking and 50N for dipping sauces.
    Red Boat is clearly the vaunted product I have been reading about for decades from others that have been to Vietnam and a truly superior product.
    I can't say anything about the Hai Ngu except that the manufacturer clearly has imitated the Red Baot labeling and is not visible on the Internet. -Dick
    Last edited by budrichard on May 13th, 2014, 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #48 - May 13th, 2014, 9:24 am
    Post #48 - May 13th, 2014, 9:24 am Post #48 - May 13th, 2014, 9:24 am
    I am intrigued. Just ordered the 17 oz bottle of Red Boat 40N for $14+$4 shipping. It was kind of an impulse buy so I didn't shop around. Does that sound like a reasonable price? I'll be curious to see how it compares with the Tiparos. Then again, I may be impervious to the flavor differences, as though I prefer Tiparos over Squid, I don't notice any of the flaws that fish sauce website is complaining about. I find Squid to have a nice, clean mild flavor. Hopefully, Red Boat 40N will calibrate my tastebuds. The only fish sauce I've had that I couldn't choke down was some Filipino brand, which reminded me strongly of the flavor of surströmming--a rancid, rotting fish, dog's fart smell and flavor to it.
    Last edited by Binko on May 13th, 2014, 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #49 - May 13th, 2014, 9:58 am
    Post #49 - May 13th, 2014, 9:58 am Post #49 - May 13th, 2014, 9:58 am
    Binko wrote:...the flavor of surströmming--a rancid, rotting fish, dog's fart smell and flavor to it.


    Yummo!
    -Mary
  • Post #50 - May 13th, 2014, 11:40 am
    Post #50 - May 13th, 2014, 11:40 am Post #50 - May 13th, 2014, 11:40 am
    Binko wrote: Just ordered the 17 oz bottle of Red Boat 40N for $14+$4 shipping. It was kind of an impulse buy so I didn't shop around. Does that sound like a reasonable price?


    I guess it depends how much you value the convenience of online ordering. You paid about 2X what you would have if you bought locally.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #51 - May 13th, 2014, 11:43 am
    Post #51 - May 13th, 2014, 11:43 am Post #51 - May 13th, 2014, 11:43 am
    laikom wrote:
    Binko wrote: Just ordered the 17 oz bottle of Red Boat 40N for $14+$4 shipping. It was kind of an impulse buy so I didn't shop around. Does that sound like a reasonable price?


    I guess it depends how much you value the convenience of online ordering. You paid about 2X what you would have if you bought locally.



    TIME = MONEY
  • Post #52 - May 13th, 2014, 2:14 pm
    Post #52 - May 13th, 2014, 2:14 pm Post #52 - May 13th, 2014, 2:14 pm
    laikom wrote:
    Binko wrote: Just ordered the 17 oz bottle of Red Boat 40N for $14+$4 shipping. It was kind of an impulse buy so I didn't shop around. Does that sound like a reasonable price?


    I guess it depends how much you value the convenience of online ordering. You paid about 2X what you would have if you bought locally.


    Well, nothing beats shopping without having to put on a pair of pants. Where can I get it reliably locally? Looks like it's been spotted at Viet Hoa, and possibly H-Mart?
  • Post #53 - May 14th, 2014, 8:52 am
    Post #53 - May 14th, 2014, 8:52 am Post #53 - May 14th, 2014, 8:52 am
    I think you can also get it at higher end groceries like PQM and Provenance. In the very least I've seen BLiS Barrel Aged Fish Sauce there which uses Red Boat.
  • Post #54 - May 14th, 2014, 9:01 am
    Post #54 - May 14th, 2014, 9:01 am Post #54 - May 14th, 2014, 9:01 am
    Binko wrote:
    laikom wrote:
    Binko wrote: Just ordered the 17 oz bottle of Red Boat 40N for $14+$4 shipping. It was kind of an impulse buy so I didn't shop around. Does that sound like a reasonable price?


    I guess it depends how much you value the convenience of online ordering. You paid about 2X what you would have if you bought locally.


    Well, nothing beats shopping without having to put on a pair of pants. Where can I get it reliably locally? Looks like it's been spotted at Viet Hoa, and possibly H-Mart?


    I bought mine at Viet Hoa. I also PM'd you some info and a question.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #55 - May 14th, 2014, 10:03 am
    Post #55 - May 14th, 2014, 10:03 am Post #55 - May 14th, 2014, 10:03 am
    BR wrote:Very interesting to say the least - the label certainly makes you think of Red Boat, and both claim to be extra virgin from Phu Quoc, and carry the 40 degrees north designation. Worth a try certainly. They didn't have any with the 50 degrees north label, did they?

    I've never seen Red Boat 50˚N in a local store, and I've looked at quite a few. I'm ever hopeful though. By the way, the ˚N refers to grams of nitrogen per liter (indicative of protein content), not latitude. I have no idea why the fish sauce industry uses that nonstandard notation.

    Binko wrote:Well, nothing beats shopping without having to put on a pair of pants. Where can I get it reliably locally? Looks like it's been spotted at Viet Hoa, and possibly H-Mart?

    G Wiv's tip from a couple years ago remains current: Viet Hoa (1051 W Argyle) still has Red Boat. The price has even gone down a bit, from $7.50 to $6.75.

    Never saw it at the Niles H Mart, though I haven't looked recently.

    Broadway Supermarket (4879 N Broadway) has it, but I'm not convinced their stock has been handled properly (white ring in neck of bottle and large amount of flocculent precipitate).
  • Post #56 - May 15th, 2014, 6:21 am
    Post #56 - May 15th, 2014, 6:21 am Post #56 - May 15th, 2014, 6:21 am
    Fresh Farms on Touhy usually has Red Boat 40N 8.45oz bottles.
    Supply seems to come and go.-Dick
  • Post #57 - May 15th, 2014, 7:50 am
    Post #57 - May 15th, 2014, 7:50 am Post #57 - May 15th, 2014, 7:50 am
    Rene G wrote:By the way, the ˚N refers to grams of nitrogen per liter (indicative of protein content), not latitude. I have no idea why the fish sauce industry uses that nonstandard notation.

    Ah, that makes sense, given that Vietnam runs between 8 and 23 degrees north, and 50 is in Mongolia.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #58 - August 29th, 2014, 4:45 pm
    Post #58 - August 29th, 2014, 4:45 pm Post #58 - August 29th, 2014, 4:45 pm
    Hello Everyone! Thank you for your interest in Red Boat Fish Sauce. A colleague forwarded this thread to me, and so I just have to set the record straight. BTW, just so you know, I'm in fact affiliated with Red Boat.

    We have no affiliation with the any other brands of fish sauce, the owner of the store must have been misinformed about Red Boat rebranding.

    Unfortunately, there have been many brands of fish sauce claiming to be Phu Quoc fish sauce (when that may not be the case). The European Union has taken protective measures to prevent counterfeits. However, the US market is entirely different as there are no protection against this. One way to verify its authenticity is by carefully looking over the label. if its real Phu Quoc fish sauce, then there would usually be a manufacturing facility address disclosed somewhere on the label. I would be suspicious if the source of the fish sauce cannot be verified.

    Please let me know if you guys have any questions or concerns. Also, thank you for your generous support. We wouldn't have come this far if it wasn't for the support of our customers. We will continue to provide you with only the best first-press fish sauce. :-)


    http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/busine ... ction.html
  • Post #59 - September 18th, 2014, 3:36 pm
    Post #59 - September 18th, 2014, 3:36 pm Post #59 - September 18th, 2014, 3:36 pm
    Red Boat, all day
  • Post #60 - September 18th, 2014, 9:32 pm
    Post #60 - September 18th, 2014, 9:32 pm Post #60 - September 18th, 2014, 9:32 pm
    Binko wrote:I am intrigued. Just ordered the 17 oz bottle of Red Boat 40N for $14+$4 shipping. It was kind of an impulse buy so I didn't shop around. Does that sound like a reasonable price? I'll be curious to see how it compares with the Tiparos. Then again, I may be impervious to the flavor differences, as though I prefer Tiparos over Squid, I don't notice any of the flaws that fish sauce website is complaining about. I find Squid to have a nice, clean mild flavor. Hopefully, Red Boat 40N will calibrate my tastebuds. The only fish sauce I've had that I couldn't choke down was some Filipino brand, which reminded me strongly of the flavor of surströmming--a rancid, rotting fish, dog's fart smell and flavor to it.


    As an update is pending, I will say I was happy with my Red Boat purchase. You can't go wrong with this fish sauce. That said, I'm happy with Tiparos, and my taste buds aren't advanced enough to really appreciate the difference.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more