How to Make Vietnamese nuoc mam sauce

How to Make Vietnamese nuoc mam sauce - 1 32
  • 500g fish (anchovies or other small fish)
  • 250g sea salt
  • 2 liters water
Per serving
Calories: 300 kcal
Proteins: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 15 g
30 minsPrint
  • Clean the fish thoroughly, removing the heads, guts, and scales. Rinse them with cold water to ensure they are clean.
  • In a large ceramic or glass container, spread a layer of sea salt on the bottom.
  • Place a layer of fish on top of the salt, ensuring they are tightly packed together.
  • Sprinkle another layer of sea salt over the fish, covering them completely.
  • Continue layering fish and salt until all the fish are used up, making sure each layer of fish is covered with salt.
  • Pour water into the container, enough to fully submerge the fish and dissolve the salt. Use a weight or a plate to keep the fish submerged under the liquid.
  • Cover the container with a breathable cloth to allow air circulation while preventing insects and dust from entering.
  • Place the container in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and strong odors. Let it ferment for at least 12 months. During this period, the fish will break down and release their natural juices, resulting in the creation of the fish sauce.
  • After the fermentation period, carefully drain the liquid from the container, separating it from any solids or sediment.
  • Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any remaining impurities.
  • Transfer the strained liquid into clean glass bottles or jars. Seal them tightly to preserve the flavor and aroma of the fish sauce.

The sauce is served with a wide variety of Vietnamese dishes, including pho, spring rolls, grilled meats, stir-fried vegetables, and dipping sauces.

Vietnamese nuoc mam sauce is a traditional fish sauce that is deeply rooted in Vietnamese cuisine. It is made by fermenting fish, usually anchovies or other small fish, with sea salt. The sauce undergoes a lengthy fermentation process, which enhances the umami flavors and creates a rich, savory condiment. Nuoc mam sauce is a staple ingredient in Vietnamese cooking, providing a distinct and complex flavor to dishes. It is versatile and can be used as a seasoning, dipping sauce, or marinade.

Facts about the sauce:

  1. Nuoc mam sauce is often referred to as the “essence of Vietnamese cuisine” due to its integral role in flavoring dishes.
  2. The sauce is highly nutritious and rich in essential amino acids and minerals.
  3. Vietnamese fish sauce has a distinct aroma and flavor, ranging from sweet to salty and slightly fishy, depending on the quality and fermentation process.
  4. It is considered one of the oldest condiments in the world, with a history dating back thousands of years.
  5. Nuoc mam sauce is not exclusive to Vietnam and is also used in other Southeast Asian cuisines, albeit with slight variations in preparation and ingredients.
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