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Fish Sauce Recommendations

Fish Sauce Recommendations
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  • Post #91 - February 7th, 2021, 12:04 am
    Post #91 - February 7th, 2021, 12:04 am Post #91 - February 7th, 2021, 12:04 am
    WhyBeeSea wrote:I've always wondered and I'll bet folks on this forum have some experience so I'll ask.

    I know folks have tasted different fish sauces and can distinguish their preferences, but has anyone ever tried making the same dish w different fish sauces?

    I've always wondered how much difference it ultimately makes. I usually grab red boat, three crabs or tiparos but maybe I should be more particular about grabbing 1 vs the other.

    I'd have a tough time coming up with the vocabulary to describe the differences between them. I have 5 or 6 in my pantry and I tend to use them all. Other than the Red Boat 40 and 50, which I generally use in very small amounts for finishing or for som tum, the others I use interchangeably for general purpose cooking.

    Squid is right down the middle of the fairway for me. Tiparos is a bit more intense than squid. Three Crabs (a bit more stepped on) is less intense and, for me, the fish sauce equivalent of easy listening. But it was my first fish sauce, so I'll always have an appreciation for it. I also like Golden Boy but I ran out a while ago and haven't replaced it yet.

    I've made red and green curry dishes, tom kha, som tum and pad kaw prow with all of these and I can't say I have a favorite. I did think using Red Boat was overkill for all of it except the som tum. Other than that, for me, it really just comes down to mood and feel.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #92 - February 7th, 2021, 12:21 am
    Post #92 - February 7th, 2021, 12:21 am Post #92 - February 7th, 2021, 12:21 am
    WhyBeeSea wrote:I know folks have tasted different fish sauces and can distinguish their preferences, but has anyone ever tried making the same dish w different fish sauces?

    Nearly nine years ago I compared three different fish sauces in the same simple prepared dish. I thought this dish – fried tofu simmered in fish sauce – was a good way to compare. Red Boat came out on top. With another dish the results might have been different. A few years later I participated in a tasting of maybe eight or ten fish sauces at a Vietnamese restaurant. Our group of eight or so sampled them straight and used them as dipping sauces. I won't easily find my notes, but I remember Red Boat and another sauce (Megachef?) ranking near the top with almost all tasters. Some other Phu Quoc sauces also got high marks (and a few were significantly cheaper).
  • Post #93 - February 7th, 2021, 7:24 am
    Post #93 - February 7th, 2021, 7:24 am Post #93 - February 7th, 2021, 7:24 am
    I use 3 crabs and red boat. I can't answer your question directly, because I have not done side by side testing. However, I have tasted the two directly and there is a huge difference. I make the decision based upon how important the fish sauce is to the recipe. Is it only a small amount mixed in just to give a little salt and unami? It's 3 crabs. But in something like nuoc cham, the vietnamese sauce that is spooned over the finished food, I use Red Boat.
  • Post #94 - February 7th, 2021, 9:47 am
    Post #94 - February 7th, 2021, 9:47 am Post #94 - February 7th, 2021, 9:47 am
    Thanks everyone!! This inspired me to buy another bottle or two and do a comparison.

    The one dish which jumps to mind that I use a ton of fish sauce is ddukguk (rice cake soup). I'll try a side by side and report back
  • Post #95 - August 20th, 2021, 5:05 pm
    Post #95 - August 20th, 2021, 5:05 pm Post #95 - August 20th, 2021, 5:05 pm
    According to Publishers Weekly, October will see the release of The Red Boat Fish Sauce Cookbook: Beloved Recipes from the Family Behind the Purest Fish Sauce, by Cuong Pham (founder of the company). It includes Vietnamese as well as western recipes using fish sauce (obvs). PW reviews it favorably.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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