Red Boat Organic Fish Sauce
Fish sauce comes in many sizes and colours. Most widely used and known in Australia is the Thai Fish Sauce Squid brand and Three Crabs. However in the last few years there has been an increase in varieties of fish sauce and particularly from Phu Quoc island in Vietnam where it is reputedly known that the best fish sauce in the world is made there.
Fish sauce is mainly used in Asian cooking, interestingly the Romans used fish sauce in their cooking and in some parts of Italy they still use fish sauce in their dishes. Fish sauce is used for marinating, cooking and as a dipping sauce.
I have been searching for an organic fish sauce for a long time now and have had no success. Last year I found Red Boat Fish sauce online and was very excited but also quickly disappointed because they were only available in the US.
Early this year I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the bottles at my local Asian grocery store. Finally they had reached our Australian shores!
What is so special about Red Boat fish sauce?
Red Boat fish sauce is made in an organic and traditional way. The local fish cá cơm is salted on the boat as it is caught then it is placed in wooden barrels. Red Boat does not add chemicals, sugar or MSG to ferment the fish. Some cheap fish sauces are made in concrete tubs with MSG, sugar and chemicals added to speed up the process.
Red Boat fish sauce is left to ferment for over 1 year and then extracted, the best fish sauce is the first extraction Nước Mắm Nhỉ. Some factories flush more water through to collect the fish sauce and sell this on. However this second or third extraction is inferior and very salty. Red Boat only sell the first extraction.
How does it taste?
Good quality fish sauce is salty at first but has a sweet finish and unami flavour, which comes from the high protein content from the fish. Like a good quality olive oil, quality fish sauce has a complex flavour.
The purity of the fish is indicated on the bottle with Red Boat there is 40°N/1L which is highest level of purity you can get on the market. This figure indicates the concentration of fish protein in each drop of fish sauce.
Fish sauce is also very good for you, it is packed with essential amino acids, B vitamins (including B12), calcium, phosphrorous, iron, iodine, riboflavin, and niacin.
Be prepared for the hefty price tag on them, I bought mine for $9.75 which is expensive considering you can buy a cheaper brand in the same size bottle for as low as $2.20. What you are paying for is quality and a product that uses only natural ingredients and age-old methods. This is fish sauce is at its purest- it is worth the money- trust me.
Here is a clip on how Red Boat fish sauce is made.
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