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Feb 14, 2014 05:55 PM

Red Boat fish sauce

Anyone know if this product can be found in Vancouver?

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  1. Never seen it but

    Asia Market on Hastings would be a place to start a search failing that I'd head up Kingsway into Little Vietnam.

    Looks rather high end though who knows maybe Urban Fare has it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sam Salmon

      Never seen it locally. Asia market doesn't carry it. Was there a few days ago. They didn't have the 3crab either ended with brand never used before.

      1. re: betterthanbourdain

        3 Crabs comes & goes it seems in short supply much like certain Kecap Manis brands.

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          Nice to see you around these parts again, betterthanbourdain. Three Crab is back in stock at Asia Market as of yesterday. I had a bottle in my hand when I bumped into Pook, co-owner of this and Benjarong. She dismissed it summarily and pointed me to Squid brand, which has been my go-to for a while. So she suggested trying Prawn brand, manufactured by the same company, as a second choice. They have identical amounts of the same ingredients, interestingly. We shall see...

          FWIW the bottle btb took a snap of and 3 Crabs both have added wheat (?), so be aware of that if you are gluten sensitive.

    2. I have looked to no avail and ended up ordering from their website and picking up at Pt Roberts.

      I suspect It will be too pricey for Kingsway & Chinatown stores to carry....

      Perhaps we could do a group buy in the future ....

      4 Replies
      1. re: yatyat

        Is it that much better?

        Better even than Three Crabs?

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          I don't know if I have tasted Three Crabs. The last one I got from T&T had a boy on the label and the Red Boat tastes better.

          I got it because it was recommended on a few paleo sites that I visit.

          1. re: yatyat

            I found some at a market in Seattle. It's definitely pricier than "regular" fish sauce but the ingredients list is impeccable. Anchovy, salt. That's it. 3 crabs and most other fish sauce has a bunch of additives.

            As for taste, I've only added it to meatballs/soups/stews, etc rather than something like nuoc cham where you can really taste the fish sauce so there's not a huge difference if you're using it like me.

            1. re: dimples_323

              Not a fan of Golden Boy or Lucky Brand, which I find far too weak (Pook confirmed this, FWIW). I got both because the bottles are smaller but chucked 'em out. Give me a big bottle that lasts forever, notwithstanding the silly best before dates. It can get a bit darker and develop crystals but no harm no foul so far.

      2. Is that a good one!? I am on a Vietnamese kick. I just whipped my first batch of nuoc ma cham so it has time to sit before dinner tonight. No comparison to what I've had in restaurants! I had the Asian Creations Thai one on hand but then picked up a golden boy brand which looked popular. Fish sauces seem to all have different ingredients like carmel msg sugar...

        1. Is nuoc mam the new extra virgin olive oil?

          7 Replies
            1. re: flowbee

              Yes and you should use it on collard greens and cauliflower (the 'new' kales) ;-)

                1. re: flowbee

                  With Dijon ketchup ! (reference to the BNL's)

                    1. re: LotusRapper

                      speaking of kale - i don't really "get" that trend - not a kale (is it a brassica?) fan - however we really like the "bright lights" sw chard (often in the organic shelf of product section in supermarket) PLUS I can grow it at home here at coast - facing south in winter - see the organic seeds at West Coast (in Ladner or on Internet - and super easy to grow - use scissors to harvest and it will keep producing)

                      1. re: Georgia Strait

                        Kale is really good if done right. Terrible if done improperly.

                        Have you had it at a good restaurant? The Acorn used to have a very good kale caesar.

                        The problem with making kale at home is that it is very tough and sometimes bitter. It needs to be massaged/cooked to tenderize it. I think younger kales tend to be less bitter.

                        I personally prefer black kale, which is much more tender and hardly bitter at all. I tend to fry it with a small amount of good extra virgin olive oil and just finish with some salt. Otherwise I will throw it into the sauce around my Italian style meatballs and let it simmer in the sauce.

              1. For my very first Chowhound post, I have good news. I found Red Boat Fish Sauce tonight at Viet Thanh on Hastings St (@ Garden Dr). They carry the 500 ml bottles for $11.99. It is significantly more expensive than any other brand I've tried before, but worth every penny, the quality is so good. The taste is very pure and intense, and there is absolutely no funky aroma.

                My annoyance that the new owners of Viet Thanh are no longer carrying ice shavers has been completely eclipsed by my delight that I no longer have to drive to Seattle to purchase Red Boat.

                9 Replies
                1. re: sjoys

                  Nice one sjoys - Viet Thanh has an unlimited supply of Red Boat.

                  An American company called 'Blis' imports Red Boat fish sauce and then ages it in Bourbon barrels that they beforehand use to age their vanilla. It's an insane flavour explosion. Ava Gene's uses it in Portland on their menu as 'Colatura' (Italian fish sauce), Farmer's Apprentice uses it here in Vancouver in a variety of dishes.

                  1. re: superhunk

                    Hey super hunk, I like the sound of unlimited supply!

                    It doesn't surprise me that Gunawan uses Red Boat. One more thing to add to the list of what makes Farmer's Apprentice incredible.

                    1. re: sjoys

                      Thanks for the tip. I'm gonna have to buy some of this stuff, if only to experience fish sauce that has "absolutely no funky aroma." That seems counterintuitive :-). It's also a good excuse to check out Viet Thanh which I've not been to yet.

                      1. re: grayelf

                        That it's counterintuitive is so true. But just wait 'till you taste it greyelf.

                        BTW, Viet Thanh is conveniently located across the street from Mr Red Cafe.

                        1. re: sjoys

                          I use RB 50N in pretty much every recipe I make.
                          Just a drop in scrambled eggs for instance.
                          A drop on all veg no matter how they are cooked.
                          You can't pick out the FS flavor specifically but there is a delicious underlying back-note that's missing without it.
                          I use it in 'BB'/chili/all soups......even leek and potato!
                          But just a drop or two.
                          Just saying.
                          I've tried other FS's over time but IMO RB 50N is the best.
                          I'm looking to buy 'BLis' somewhere in Victoria. Does anyone know where it's sold in the city?

                          1. re: Puffin3

                            Hit Viet Thanh for Red Boat today. They are stocking the 40 for that price. Can't wait to try it!

                            I was told by the gal at Saltenas that VT has 10% off every first Tuesday of the month. This is a fantastic store with excellent selection and very reasonable prices. There is even a wee butcher's counter at the back with pork belly for $4.99 a pound. Tons of cool produce too. Lots of Filipino stuff as well as Vietamese. Don't let the forbidding exterior keep you away from this tidy, well organized and welcoming shop!

                          2. re: sjoys

                            Thank you sjoys for locating red boat on this side of the border! "No funky aroma" fish sauce ... Hahaha. Kinda weird, but I definitely get hits of parma reggiano every time i open the bottle. Definitely a great find!

                        2. re: superhunk

                          I really get annoyed by Blis - their products might be great but I think they could be quite a bit cheaper.

                          That does sound really amazing though. That's some very good intel that you have superhunk. Do you work in restaurants?