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Fish Sauce

Harry Singh Jan 29, 2007 11:17 AM

I have had a bottle of fish sauce sitting in the fridge for a few months now (approx. 4), it smells pretty much the same. Do you think it is ok to use, or has it gone bad?

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  1. r
    Russellkhan RE: Harry Singh Jan 29, 2007 11:20 AM

    It should be fine. In fact, it's best to not refrigerate fish sauce, as refrigeration will sometimes cause some crystals to form inside (also not something to worry about if it happened to yours)

    1. C. Hamster RE: Harry Singh Jan 29, 2007 11:33 AM

      It's already "gone bad!" :-)

      Fish sauce lasts basically forever.

      4 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster
        MaspethMaven RE: C. Hamster Jan 29, 2007 02:06 PM

        Nay, nay... I just had to throw out some fish sauce (actually, its still glug glugging its way down the drain, inverted in my sink). There was a decidedly un chowish residue accumulated at the line where the sauce met the air and very gunky at the base of the bottle.

        Good thing its cheap!

        1. re: MaspethMaven
          C. Hamster RE: MaspethMaven Jan 30, 2007 07:33 AM

          Then it probably was cross contaminated or something. Unless the gunk was crystalized, which is normal.

          I've had open bottles last for years. Not that I don't go through it faster than that, it's just that I forgot about an open one.

          1. re: C. Hamster
            MaspethMaven RE: C. Hamster Jan 30, 2007 10:11 AM

            This one was over a year old. Not sure how it could have got cross contaminated, unless someone (not me) literally left the bottle open in the cupboard. It was one of those big 725 ml jars, too...

            1. re: MaspethMaven
              Russellkhan RE: MaspethMaven Feb 3, 2007 10:35 PM

              If it were me, I would probably avoid that brand in the future. I also tend to avoid brands that contain preservatives - fermented products are already preserved.

      2. b
        BellaDonna RE: Harry Singh Jan 29, 2007 02:55 PM

        4 months should be ok

        1. ChefGirl412 RE: Harry Singh Jan 29, 2007 03:17 PM

          4 months definately fine

          1. Sam Fujisaka RE: Harry Singh Jan 30, 2007 10:09 AM

            4 centuries is OK

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              FoodFuser RE: Sam Fujisaka Feb 6, 2007 01:45 AM


              I have a couple of amphorae of good ol' Roman garum that has been passed down thru the family for more than a few generations. The wax seals on the necks are still intact, and there's still a good sluggish "swish" of a liquid sound when I shake them.

              You want to come by for dinner, and we'll crack one open to see how well they've aged?

              I mean... What's a couple of millenia between aficionados?

              1. re: FoodFuser
                Sam Fujisaka RE: FoodFuser Feb 6, 2007 09:28 PM

                FF, indeed, I'm on! I'll bring some Tokugawa era miso. We can invite few others with equally ancient patis, bagoong, nam pla,...

            2. m
              meat_eater RE: Harry Singh Feb 6, 2007 04:32 AM


              I don't even put fish sauce in the refrigerator. Those things last for months. I can personally testify that I have consumed fish sauce, that came from a bottle, which was not refrigerated, and was opened for more than 6 months. And may I add that I think it may have actually improved its flavor.

              Blog: http://foodlava.com/blog/

              1. hotoynoodle RE: Harry Singh Feb 7, 2007 03:21 AM

                i've had bottles for years on the pantry shelf, and they've always been fine. i use the brand with the big giant baby on the label, lol.

                1. NovoCuisine RE: Harry Singh Feb 7, 2007 04:36 AM

                  Definitely fine if it's in the fridge. Fish sauce doesn't usually last long around my place, but during un-Asian periods in my cooking I've had the stuff sit under the counter for months and be perfectly fine when I was ready to come back to it.

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