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Jul 17, 2006 01:53 AM

kosher fish sauce

Is there a kosher Thai fish sauce on the market? If so, where in the New York area can it be purchased?

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  1. There is no kosher nam pla fish sauce at this time on the market.

    1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Imo Foods makes it

            When I contacted them, they said that they needed a US Distributor.

            17 Replies
            1. re: hindyg

              Does anyone have an update on this? Is there any Kosher Nam Pla fish sauce? Namely in NY? My Tom Ka Gai won't be the same without it :(

              1. re: foodie4life

                Chicken with nam pla? I know that is what Thais eat, but not frum Jews.

                1. re: Dovid

                  While I do not personally do this, many Conservative Jews do not eat shellfish (and thus wouldn't want the usual shrimp-derived nam pla) but do not have a problem combining fish and meat products.

                  1. re: GilaB

                    Just as well that "many Conservative Jews" do not eat shellfish since Thai and Vietnamese nam pla is made from anchovies, not shrimp.
                    Also, while I can certainly see chicken and fish sauce being a problem for frummies, Vietnamese table sauce (made with fish sauce) tastes great over rice, fried eggs, or grilled tofu.
                    But I can see the potential market for kosher fish sauce being fairly limited in general.

                    1. re: rockycat

                      my husband likes using the nam pla stirfried with vegetables and tofu

                      1. re: rockycat

                        I haven't tried Thai recipes because of many ingredients that are hard to find kosher, if not impossible, but if there were kosher nam pla, people could also try it with recipes using the meat substitutes (i.e. Chick'n strips from Morningstar Farms).

                        1. re: queenscook

                          what type of ingredients are you looking for-there are lots of Asian stores in the NY/NJ area that carry asian ingredients

                          1. re: koshergourmetmart

                            I ended up using soy and it was still delicious but the nam pla would have added an extra depth of flavor. I did find out that my other-half wouldn't have had nam pla with the chicken in the Tom Ka Gai anyway but I find the broth to be a lot more important than the chicken so I could have easily substituted tofu, had I found kosher nam pla. It seems that there is only 1 brand and it's made in Israeli and difficult to find here, the one source that carried it online is out of stock.

                            1. re: koshergourmetmart

                              You know, in truth, I don't recall right now. I just know that over the years, I have seen Thai recipes and they just seem to call for many things that I never see. Some are packaged things that need hashgacha (nam pla, of course), and some are not, but I never see them where I live. What springs to mind in the second category are things like Thai basil, lemongrass, Kafir lime leaves, galangal, etc.

                              1. re: queenscook

                                where do you live? you can generally find lemongrass, Kafir lime leaves, galangal etc at asian stores

                                1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                  As you might gather from my "name," I live in Queens. The issue with the Asian stores in my general vicinity, i.e. downtown Flushing, is that no one speaks English. At all. I once wanted to purchase an unusual fruit (turned out to be a durian), and when I tried to ask questions about how to eat it, how to know when it is ready, etc., literally the only thing anyone could say was "79 cents a pound, 79 cents a pound." Not very helpful. I happen to have once seen lemongrass in an out-of-town supermarket, so I know what it looks like, but even now I have no idea what galangal is. Also, the Asian area is really Chinese; I don't think they really have much Thai stuff.

                                  I was actually going to post today to say that I have now obtained fish sauce; I bought it in Yerushalayim. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to use it for, but at least I'll have it. When I get back home, I'll look up some recipes. I also bought some jars of Thai curry pastes.

                                  I also found some really interesting packets of stuff to make Indian, Thai, and other Asian-type meals. The brand is Asian Home Gourmet, and according to their website, they have a ton of products, far more than the 11 flavors I found in a small supermarket in Beit Shemesh. Their packaging has American nutritional info printed on it, so I imagine it is available somewhere in the US, but I've never seen it. You can also order it from their website, but the shipping charges are very high. However, if I find that I like them, I can always ask relatives who live in Beit Shemesh to pick some up for me, and bring them when they come or send them with visitors who are returning to the States. Has anyone ever seen or used this brand? Any comments on it? I'd also love to have access to all the other varieties they make, but having it shipped from their website is quite pricey. Wait, I just checked. They do sell it on Amazon, but in 12 packs. Still, it's one way to go, especially if I find there's one particular type I like.

                                  1. re: queenscook

                                    what hasgacha is the asian home gourmet?

                                    1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                      KF; it's a UK hechsher. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it's only printed on the Hebrew label that is stuck on the back of the packet, over the English nutritional label column, and is not on the original packaging, so I'm not sure about any flavors that I don't own. I myself would contact the hachgacha agency or the company before I'd buy any other products from Amazon, but that's just me; I'm not implying that anyone else has to do that.

                                      1. re: queenscook

                                        i did contact the company and yes queenskosher it is KF of london. They said " it is specially produced under the supervision Dayan YY Lichtenstein,Rosh Beis Dinof the Federation of Synagogues. Each koshered production is based on order only."

                                    2. re: queenscook

                                      If you're looking for something specific, it helps to bring a googled picture with you to the store. I did this when I was looking for bitter melon, and I was pointed in the right direction. Also, when I'm in the fruit/veggie section of the Asian market, I keep an ear out for people speaking in English on their cell phones or to others. I've gotten tips and explanations this way.

                                      1. re: queenscook

                                        Galangal looks very similar to ginger. I buy mine at Kalustyan's. They also sell kafir lime leaves and lemongrass.

                                        1. re: queenscook

                                          If the larger Flushing markets are following 99 Ranch's lead (the largest Taiwanese chain in the US), they should be carrying Asian Home Gourmet packets with hechshers, as well as other brands (like Kara, Lee Kum Kee) which hechsher some products. My local 99 Ranch carries the following with pre-printed KF (Passover Kitniyo(s)/(t) Green Curry (which has fish sauce as an ingredient btw), Tandoori Tikka Marinade, Rendang, Butter Chicken (Pareve), and a few others. Also - I vaguely remember Hong Kong Supermarket and Great Wall Supermarket in Flushing are both pretty good. New York Supermarket in Elmhurst has a slightly more South East Asian focus, but the huge VN markets you find in some places (Orange County CA, Houston, San Jose, Philadelphia, etc) do not exist.

                                          Also - be careful with home made Fish Sauce/Veggie Fish Sauce recipes. Most recipies do not distinguish between Nước chấm (mixed fish sauce - fairly easy to replace), and Nước Mắm (base fish sauce - harder to replace when it is the primary ingredient in the dish (Pho)). I stick to dishes like Bò Kho, and Cari Gà where I can substitute light soy sauce and either water or seaweed stock.