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fish sauce

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Is there a place in Cambridge or Somerville where I can I buy fish sauce (nam pla/nuoc mam)? The Thai Hut on Beacon used to sell it, but they are no longer selling anything except their dire takeout

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  1. Hmm, the only place I can guarantee that has it is the Super 88.

    1. You don't specify anything about it, so although it's relatively pricy and probably not the most authentic, most supermarkets would have Taste of Thai brand in the ethnic food aisle, which should see you through (has anyone seen the 'splash' lime chili dressing they used to make locally lately? I used to love that on tomatoes). Per their site, these stores carry their products
      Demoulas
      Donalan's
      Edwards
      Market Basket
      Roche
      Shaw's, Wild Harvest
      Stop & Shop
      Victory
      Wal-Mart Supercenters

      1. Reliable market in Union Sq doesn't have it? Or maybe Yoshinoya on Prospect in Central? I bought some a long time ago (Vietnamese nuoc mam) at one of these, probably Reliable. There also is the market just before Fresh Pond Fish Market on FP Pkwy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: itaunas

          That market (it was Korean) is now closed.

        2. I was just at the Reliable, and they don't have it. I haven't heard of this place in Fresh Pond, I'll have to give it a try, what's it good for?

          1 Reply
          1. re: edebudeliao

            If its not at Reliable, you are probably best off going to Allston for the Super88. The place in Fresh Pond was called the New York Oriental Market and carried some unusual items, although mostly Korean and Japanese. I hadn't noticed it closed. The only other thoughts I would have is calling Captain Boston Fish Market on Main St in Medford (Somerville line) to see if they by any chance carry it or call J&K Han A Rum Oriental Mk on Mass Ave in Cambridge (near Hanna Sushi). Respectively (781) 395-8138 and (617) 547-8723 -- both are Korean but the owner of Captain Boston stocks a few other ingredients, Yoshinora is (617) 491-8221. My sister used to cook Vietnamese quite regularly, so I will see if she has any other thoughts, but I don't recall her going anywhere except reliable and the super88.

          2. Whole Foods carries the Taste of Thai brand.

            1 Reply
            1. re: veggielover

              I'm pretty sure that Whole Foods at Fresh Pond has Tiparos brand too, which at least comes in a decent size bottle. And Whole Foods on River St. usually has Golden Boy brand, which is much much better.

              I got Golden Boy at J & K on Mass Ave in North Cambridge once, too, but they seem to have stopped carrying it.

            2. The new asian market in Waverly Oaks Plaza in Waltham will have a wide selection. Just over the belmont line on rt 60 (near trapelo)

              1. What about Kotobukya in the Porter Exchange?

                BK

                1. I always shop for this at Super 88 in Allston or in Chinatown. A big bottle usually runs less than $2 and lasts a while, so I don't mind the extra trip.

                  While we are on the topic, anyone want to comment on their favorite brand? I have been a huge fan of 'Golden Boy' brand for years -- with 'Scales' brand a close second. This is the kind of stuff you can dash onto plain rice or make nam plaa prik (fish sauce and chillis) with and it tastes wonderful. The brands you find in a lot of stores are pretty poor quality.

                  1. I've always found Cock brand (stop laughing, NOW!) from Thailand to be the best. Even for Vietnamese dishes, which I cook a lot of. It's a very complex, rich flavor; you could drink it straight up (I have, in my sauce to sauce comparison). At @$1.49 for a big bottle, it has a lot less additives than the $3 Vietnamese "brand names", like Three Crabs, and a few others. Check the ingredient lists...It only contains
                    anchovies, water, salt and sugar.

                    In the Boston area, I find it at Super88, C Market, and any of the markets in Chinatown, as well as Kam man. If you can't find that, Squid Brand is my #2 rec.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: galleygirl

                      I have a bottle of it myself from the Super88, and while I've enjoyed it, used it quite a bit, and it's almost time to buy another bottle, I'm pretty sure I chose that brand for sheer sh*ts and giggles.

                      :)
                      BK

                      1. re: BJK

                        Actually, anything by that brand, is, er, very good. I've had great luck with soup bases, and even tamarind candy...Fun, and fun to eat!

                        1. re: galleygirl

                          Nice. I will be sure to pick up a bottle of Cock the next time I am looking for fish sauce.

                          1. re: Sgt Snackers

                            Tee hee hee ...

                            :)
                            BK

                    2. thanks for the rec. will try scales and c--- on my next trip to the Super 88

                      1. I would stay away from cheap, mass-produced brands like Taste of Thai. A lot of big companies like that will add things to their products to try to artificially "speed up" the effects that you can only get from long, slow fermentation (as in soy, fish sauce, shrimp paste, bean pastes). There is a Thai fish sauce made by Three Crabs that is pretty superior.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: RandMan

                          Actually, tho some big name chefs, like Ming Tsai, mention Three Crabs, the ingredient list is pretty dissappointing. It lists caramel coloring, and hydrolyzed vegatable protein, IIRC...That sounds like the kind of additions that you're not in favor of.

                          1. re: galleygirl

                            I like Three Crabs but now I'll try Cock. I trust your expertise on this ;-)

                        2. I like Squid and Three Crabs which I get at the 88. If you are driving to Allston to the 88 you might as well drive a bit further to the South Bay store which is 1000% better.

                          They sell Tiparos at STOP and SHOP.

                          1. I get Golden Boy nom pla (with the radioactively glowing baby on the label) at Ming's or Super 88: it's a little milder and less salty than most.