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How long does fish sauce keep?

  • s

I don't use fish sauce often at all, and have had a bottle in the fridge for some time. Any idea how long it keeps? In the fridge? Out of the fridge?

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  1. Because the fish sauce is very salty, it keeps well outside the fridge. My fish sauce is at least 6 months old and it's still ok.

    1. Fish sauce keeps for about a year, even more, outside of the fridge. It should not be refridgerated (I've even bought bottles that warn against it) as it can easily crystalize. Just store it in a cool and dark place. Any cabinet should do.

      1. Depends.

        Depends if you spill it all over the backseat of the car when moving to a new place.....

        Depends if you spill it all over the cabinet where you so smartly stored it on a sheet pan so it wouldn't drip....

        Depends if you actually use it any more than once, along with the dozen other "special" Asian ingredients you bought, when you decide its just easier to go out for dinner....

        Depends if you spill it all over the house when the trash bag leaks as you throw out the rest of the bottle....

        Yes, the mythical bottle of fish sauce and I go back a long way.....


        1 Reply
        1. re: Sethboy

          SETHBOY! I had the backseat fish sauce incident just happen to me. HOW did you get it out???

          1. Like Asia itself ... fish sauce is timeless.

            1. ditto forever. i don't refrigerate mine. if it starts to gang up on itself i just shake it really hard.

              1. I had mine for at least 5 years in the fridge, which I used just 2 days ago. I don't think anything can grow in that salty mixture.

                1. It's made from decaying fish. Once fish go bad, can they get any badder?

                  1 Reply
                  1. I have had mine for well over two years, in the cupboard and it's just as foul and stinky as it was when I got it. Like Ellen said, how can you tell when it's bad???

                    1. Thanks, everybody. That was really helpful.

                      1. When the Big One hits, all that will be left is cockroaches and fish sauce. It is indestructible, inside the fridge or out. That said, the container it's IN is not indestructible -- namely, that stupid plastic flip-top will wear out after about a year. Wrap it in aluminium foil when this starts to happen else your fridge and everything in it will taste of fish sauce.

                        1. Fish sauce, like herpes, is forever. I have another sad story to tell about the container tho, and NOT just the cap. The first bottle of fish sauce I bought (don't recall the brand, but it was plastic, and a tall rectangle, more or less) cracked while I was shaking it to 'reincorporate' the precipitated matter. What a stinky mess. It was a long time before I stopped smelling like a deckhand on a party boat.

                          1. My fish sauce is so old it has started to crystalize! It still tastes fine just more concentrated.

                            1. A great marketing idea--sell fish sauce by vintage. Mine is 1994, a very good year. And yes, it has those little crystals at the bottom.

                              1. I wonder if anybody got up the nerve to try some of the
                                garum discovered in this Roman wreck: