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Homemade fish sauce- those who cook with store bought fish sauce, please advise

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Just tried out my new homemade fish sauce that I made with whole sardines, salt, and water, and let ferment for a good few weeks. Husband's reaction "Ewww, that smells so nasty! What did you put in there?!?! What a stench!"
But, he agreed, the taste is pretty fine. Does fish sauce always smell this much? (The main smell came when I boiled the fish sauce to pasteurize.)

Anyone else made fish sauce? Does it stink much more than store bought fish sauce?

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  1. It always smells a good deal, can't tell how much "this" is. I congratulate you on undertaking this project at all- what's next, Kim Chi? Pickled Pig's Feet? A new ventilation system for the kitchen?

    1 Reply
    1. re: oldunc

      Well, right before making the fish sauce I started making homemade soy sauce. :-D Kimchi I already make- its old news...

    2. The premier fish sauce formulas ferment for up to a year. I figures it's much easier to buy it commercially than to have a crock of fish fermenting in the basement for that long. But to each his own. Commercial fish sauce does smell fishy but I don't find it objectionable, certainly not overpowering. That may be due to the commercial practice of allowing the finished sauce to rest in the open air for a couple of weeks after straining.