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Apr 10, 2010 12:54 PM

Whats your favorite fish sauce?

Looking for a good fish sauce to add to my pantry. The stuff my hubby buys at the grocery store is pretty gross so Im convinced there must be a better quality out there. I am willing to go on a hunt to find it, so lay it on me! Thanks :)

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    There have been a few threads on this. I personally like golden boy for all around usage, though I think that funkier stuff like tiparos has it's place as an ingredient - just not as a condiment.

    1. What brand(s) have you tried? All fish sauce has a strong smell, one which many Americans would consider gross. A 'gross' smell is not necessarily a sign of a bad sauce.

      That said, I don't like the smell of 3 Crabs which many recommend. Gold Boy is ok. Lucky is the first brand I tried, and one that I keep coming back to. It is pretty mild.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          It would be funny if the OP had something other than the salty SE Asian liquid in mind. But with the 'gross' description, could she have meant anything else?

          1. re: paulj

            I guess I should say my hubby bought a very cheap bottle of fish which I think the flavor tastes like boiled fish guts. I assume that a higher quality fish sauce might have a better depth of flavor. or maybe not :)

              1. re: jenwee

                Most fish sauce is made by salting small fish, and letting them ferment for a long time, and then drawing off the liquid. On one Bizarre Foods episode, Thailand I believe, Andrew observed a lady making a sauce from fish guts, specifically the stomachs. Basically carving them up, salting them, and then stuffing the mix into bottles. This version was used in cooking, not in uncooked sauces.

                The Lucky brand that several of us recommended is inexpensive, less than $2 for a 23oz bottle. An expensive one might be double that.

                Fish sauce mainly contributes salt and umami (savoriness). The strong aroma tends to disappear with cooking.

          2. I'm a tiparos man. Even/especially as condiment. Funkier than most though, so you might not care for it.

            1. I just bought tiparos, because it was recommended at the Thai cooking class I did recently (in Thailand). My current fish sauce, which has almost run out, is a Vietnamese one from the island of Phu Quoc, which is supposed to produce the best fish sauce.