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Nuoc Mam

Information about Vietnamese Nuoc Mam


Featured Ingredient - Vietnam




Go to:-  Vietnam Main Page   |  Vietnam Speciality Dish  |  Cooking by Country Main Page


Nuoc Mam or fish sauce is a widely used ingredient in Vietnamese cooking. Just as westerners use salt and Chinese use Soy Sauce in most of their recipes, so do the Vietnamese use Nuoc Mam.  It is used both as a condiment and flavouring. As the name implies the raw material used to make it is fish.


Only the freshest  fish makes the finest  fish sauce which  is clear in colour.  It is extremely strong, pungent  and salty and  ranges in colour from ochre to deep brown. Fresh anchovies are mixed with salt by using a traditional Vietnamese fermentation process. The mixture is placed in barrels and after about 3 months,  liquid starts to drip from an open spout which is poured back into the top of the barrel. The complete process takes about 6 months.


Whilst it has a distinctive fishy smell, it is interesting to note that this is lost  once it is mixed in with other ingredients. 



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