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Thread: Vietnamese fish sauce

  1. #1
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Vietnamese fish sauce

    Hello All!

    A question was asked recently about the naming of fish sauce but I can't
    find the post. Anyway, I came across this:
    -----------------------------
    Clay's Kitchen
    Fish sauce is called "nam pla" in Thailand, "nuoc mam" in Vietnam,
    "patis" in the Philippines, "shottsuru" in Japan, "ngan-pya-ye" in
    Burma, "tuk trey" in Cambodia, "nam pa" in Laos, and "yeesui" in
    China. The name basically means "fish water".

    http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/...cgi?fish-sauce

    --------------------------------

    I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do make foods from all
    those places and I can see why the names confuse me.

    --


    James Silverton
    Potomac, Maryland

    Email, with obvious alterations:
    not.jim.silverton.at.verizon.not


  2. #2
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    James Silverton wrote:
    > Hello All!
    >
    > A question was asked recently about the naming of fish sauce but I can't
    > find the post. Anyway, I came across this:
    > -----------------------------
    > Clay's Kitchen
    > Fish sauce is called "nam pla" in Thailand, "nuoc mam" in Vietnam,
    > "patis" in the Philippines, "shottsuru" in Japan, "ngan-pya-ye" in
    > Burma, "tuk trey" in Cambodia, "nam pa" in Laos, and "yeesui" in
    > China. The name basically means "fish water".
    >
    > http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/...cgi?fish-sauce
    >
    > --------------------------------
    >
    > I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do make foods from all
    > those places and I can see why the names confuse me.
    >


    I'm confused and I don't eat fish sauce. I knew fish made water in the
    water but didn't know it had so many ethnic names. <G>

  3. #3
    George Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On 5/16/2010 2:35 PM, James Silverton wrote:
    > Hello All!
    >
    > A question was asked recently about the naming of fish sauce but I can't
    > find the post. Anyway, I came across this:
    > -----------------------------
    > Clay's Kitchen
    > Fish sauce is called "nam pla" in Thailand, "nuoc mam" in Vietnam,
    > "patis" in the Philippines, "shottsuru" in Japan, "ngan-pya-ye" in
    > Burma, "tuk trey" in Cambodia, "nam pa" in Laos, and "yeesui" in China.
    > The name basically means "fish water".
    >
    > http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/...cgi?fish-sauce
    >
    > --------------------------------
    >
    > I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do make foods from all
    > those places and I can see why the names confuse me.
    >


    I think for some reason we often think of Asia as an homogeneous place
    not an area that contains individual countries with their own culture
    and languages.

  4. #4
    lil abner Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    James Silverton wrote:
    > Hello All!
    >
    > A question was asked recently about the naming of fish sauce but I can't
    > find the post. Anyway, I came across this:
    > -----------------------------
    > Clay's Kitchen
    > Fish sauce is called "nam pla" in Thailand, "nuoc mam" in Vietnam,
    > "patis" in the Philippines, "shottsuru" in Japan, "ngan-pya-ye" in
    > Burma, "tuk trey" in Cambodia, "nam pa" in Laos, and "yeesui" in
    > China. The name basically means "fish water".
    >
    > http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/...cgi?fish-sauce
    >
    > --------------------------------
    >
    > I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do make foods from all
    > those places and I can see why the names confuse me.
    >

    I was told that the Viet Namese made nuc mom by nailing a fish, onto a
    board with a groove, from the mouth down the board. The board was
    propped ,in the hot sun at an angle with a bottle below the groove.
    I declined to taste it.

  5. #5
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Sun, 16 May 2010 18:56:57 -0400, lil abner <@daisey.mae> wrote:

    >James Silverton wrote:
    >> Hello All!
    >>
    >> I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do make foods from all
    >> those places and I can see why the names confuse me.
    >>

    >I was told that the Viet Namese made nuc mom by nailing a fish, onto a
    >board with a groove, from the mouth down the board. The board was
    >propped ,in the hot sun at an angle with a bottle below the groove.
    >I declined to taste it.


    They probably laughed for days over that one.

    --
    I love cooking with wine.
    Sometimes I even put it in the food.

  6. #6
    spamtrap1888 Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On May 16, 4:03*pm, sf <sf.use...@geemail.com> wrote:
    > On Sun, 16 May 2010 18:56:57 -0400, lil abner <@daisey.mae> wrote:
    > >James Silverton wrote:
    > >> Hello All!

    >
    > >> I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do *make foods from all
    > >> those places and I can see why the names confuse me.

    >
    > >I was told that the Viet Namese made nuc mom by nailing a fish, onto a
    > >board with a groove, from the mouth down the board. The board was
    > >propped ,in the hot sun at an angle with a bottle below the groove.
    > >I declined to taste it.

    >
    > They probably laughed for days over that one.
    >


    Sure. How's a nail supposed to hold a rotting fish? Thing would slide
    off the board in no time.

  7. #7
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Sun, 16 May 2010 18:56:57 -0400, lil abner wrote:

    > I was told that the Viet Namese made nuc mom by nailing a fish, onto a
    > board with a groove, from the mouth down the board. The board was
    > propped ,in the hot sun at an angle with a bottle below the groove.
    > I declined to taste it.


    That wouldn't make fish sauce. but if you really must know, the
    procedure is much more disgusting that what you describe.

    Gutted fish are thrown into large vats with a bunch of salt. Wait a
    few months, then turn on the spigot at the bottom of the vat and get
    your virgin (first pressing) of fish sauce.

    -sw

  8. #8
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Sun, 16 May 2010 16:54:13 -0700 (PDT), spamtrap1888 wrote:

    > Sure. How's a nail supposed to hold a rotting fish? Thing would slide
    > off the board in no time.


    That was a recipe for dried fish. The liquid would evaporate in the
    hot sun, not run down the board.

    -sw

  9. #9
    K Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce



    lil abner wrote:
    > James Silverton wrote:
    >> Hello All!
    >>
    >> A question was asked recently about the naming of fish sauce but I
    >> can't find the post. Anyway, I came across this:
    >> -----------------------------
    >> Clay's Kitchen
    >> Fish sauce is called "nam pla" in Thailand, "nuoc mam" in Vietnam,
    >> "patis" in the Philippines, "shottsuru" in Japan, "ngan-pya-ye" in
    >> Burma, "tuk trey" in Cambodia, "nam pa" in Laos, and "yeesui" in
    >> China. The name basically means "fish water".
    >>
    >> http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/...cgi?fish-sauce
    >>
    >> --------------------------------
    >>
    >> I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do make foods from all
    >> those places and I can see why the names confuse me.
    >>

    > I was told that the Viet Namese made nuc mom by nailing a fish, onto a
    > board with a groove, from the mouth down the board. The board was
    > propped ,in the hot sun at an angle with a bottle below the groove.
    > I declined to taste it.


    That may be correct. Nuoc mam is made from fermented fish heads, smells to
    high heaven, but might be the most sensational flavor you'll ever taste.

    Keith



    --- news://freenews.netfront.net/ - complaints: [email protected] ---

  10. #10
    Omelet Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    In article <hsqctj$24t2$[email protected]>,
    "K" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > That may be correct. Nuoc mam is made from fermented fish heads, smells to
    > high heaven, but might be the most sensational flavor you'll ever taste.
    >
    > Keith


    I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish with it. :-(
    Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion. Tastes like fermented
    (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired taste.

    I've been using the rest of the bottle as bait in fly traps. Works great
    for that!
    --
    Peace! Om

    Web Albums: <http://picasaweb.google.com/OMPOmelet>
    *Only Irish *coffee provides in a single glass all four *essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar *and fat. --Alex Levine

  11. #11
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:24:33 -0500, K wrote:

    > That may be correct. Nuoc mam is made from fermented fish heads, smells to
    > high heaven, but might be the most sensational flavor you'll ever taste.


    It's made from whole fish. The spent fish meat is then sold as mam
    nem (made into a dipping sauce of the same name). I have two
    bottles of the ground fish in my fridge right now.

    There would not be enough liquid in just fish heads to produce nuoc
    mam.

    -sw

  12. #12
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:28:47 -0500, Omelet wrote:

    > I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish with it. :-(
    > Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion. Tastes like fermented
    > (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired taste.


    You need to use it sparingly. It's what makes Worcestershire taste
    so good.

    It's used in practically all Vietnamese cooking either in the dish,
    or as a dip. Great stuff, as others will agree.

    Most recipes I see call for too much.

    -sw

  13. #13
    Omelet Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Sqwertz <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:28:47 -0500, Omelet wrote:
    >
    > > I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish with it. :-(
    > > Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion. Tastes like fermented
    > > (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired taste.

    >
    > You need to use it sparingly. It's what makes Worcestershire taste
    > so good.
    >
    > It's used in practically all Vietnamese cooking either in the dish,
    > or as a dip. Great stuff, as others will agree.
    >
    > Most recipes I see call for too much.
    >
    > -sw


    Guess I'll have to use it drop-wise, like I do Sesame oil...
    Ok, I'll try it one more time!
    --
    Peace! Om

    Web Albums: <http://picasaweb.google.com/OMPOmelet>
    Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. --Alex Levine

  14. #14
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    Omelet wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 05:32:57 -0500:

    >> On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:28:47 -0500, Omelet wrote:
    >>
    > >> I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish
    > >> with it. :-( Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion.
    > >> Tastes like fermented (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired
    > >> taste.

    >>
    >> You need to use it sparingly. It's what makes Worcestershire
    >> taste so good.
    >>
    >> It's used in practically all Vietnamese cooking either in the
    >> dish, or as a dip. Great stuff, as others will agree.
    >>
    >> Most recipes I see call for too much.
    >>
    >> -sw


    > Guess I'll have to use it drop-wise, like I do Sesame oil...
    > Ok, I'll try it one more time!


    Incorporated into various dishes, marinades and sauces in the correct
    (small) quantities,*Thai* fish sauce adds a great flavor to various
    dishes. However, for "scientific" interest, I once drank about 1/4
    teaspoon and spent the next 5 minutes cleaning my teeth and using
    mouthwash: never again! Incidentally, I find the appearance of most
    Asian fish sauces rather disgusting. I only use the clear light brown or
    yellow Thai version; the brand I stick to is Golden Boy.

    --

    James Silverton
    Potomac, Maryland

    Email, with obvious alterations: not.jim.silverton.at.verizon.not


  15. #15
    George Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On 5/17/2010 6:32 AM, Omelet wrote:
    > In article<[email protected]>,
    > Sqwertz<[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:28:47 -0500, Omelet wrote:
    >>
    >>> I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish with it. :-(
    >>> Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion. Tastes like fermented
    >>> (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired taste.

    >>
    >> You need to use it sparingly. It's what makes Worcestershire taste
    >> so good.
    >>
    >> It's used in practically all Vietnamese cooking either in the dish,
    >> or as a dip. Great stuff, as others will agree.
    >>
    >> Most recipes I see call for too much.
    >>
    >> -sw

    >
    > Guess I'll have to use it drop-wise, like I do Sesame oil...
    > Ok, I'll try it one more time!


    That is a good comparison. It is definitely easy to overwhelm a dish but
    a little adds great taste.

  16. #16
    sf Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:28:47 -0500, Omelet <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    > I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish with it. :-(
    > Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion. Tastes like fermented
    > (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired taste.


    You used too much. I don't cook with it, but I don't hesitate to eat
    dishes that have it because used properly it's like Worcestershire
    sauce - it adds (I can't believe I'm using this word) umami.

    --
    Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.

  17. #17
    Krypsis Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On 17/05/2010 11:01 PM, George wrote:
    > On 5/17/2010 6:32 AM, Omelet wrote:
    >> In article<[email protected]>,
    >> Sqwertz<[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:28:47 -0500, Omelet wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish with it. :-(
    >>>> Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion. Tastes like fermented
    >>>> (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired taste.
    >>>
    >>> You need to use it sparingly. It's what makes Worcestershire taste
    >>> so good.
    >>>
    >>> It's used in practically all Vietnamese cooking either in the dish,
    >>> or as a dip. Great stuff, as others will agree.
    >>>
    >>> Most recipes I see call for too much.
    >>>
    >>> -sw

    >>
    >> Guess I'll have to use it drop-wise, like I do Sesame oil...
    >> Ok, I'll try it one more time!

    >
    > That is a good comparison. It is definitely easy to overwhelm a dish but
    > a little adds great taste.


    With Vietnamese dishes, it is far more preferable to use too little than
    too much, especially if you are not Asian. You can always add later at
    the table if you find it too bland but, if you've overdone it, there's
    no way to neutralise or weaken the taste.

    I'd give the same advice when adding chillis or chilli sauces. Asians,
    especially Thais, can tolerate the heat better than nearly all
    westerners. I tend to prefer my dishes hotter than even my wife can
    handle them and she is Vietnamese.

    Krypsis





  18. #18
    gtr Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On 2010-05-17 06:27:40 -0700, sf said:

    > On Sun, 16 May 2010 22:28:47 -0500, Omelet <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I've tried it a few times, and ruined more than one dish with it. :-(
    >> Fish sauce sucks... at least in my opinion. Tastes like fermented
    >> (rotten) fish. Must be an aquired taste.

    >
    > You used too much. I don't cook with it, but I don't hesitate to eat
    > dishes that have it because used properly it's like Worcestershire
    > sauce - it adds (I can't believe I'm using this word) umami.


    I eat in Vietnamese restaurants every week. There are at least 6 in
    rotation, and another new one every few weeks that we check out. Nuoc
    cham and nuac mam come with most meals, in a little bowl next to your
    noodles or spring rolls or whatever. You dunk things in or pour things
    on.

    It's simply an acquired taste. When I first began easting Vietnamese
    food regularly, about 15 years ago, I found the fish sauce somewhat
    "demanding". And on single occasions found the taste vacillating
    between compelling and rupulsive. The same thing happened 15 years
    before that, when I began eating sushi. I'd switch in an instant from
    delight to disgust back to delight again. I was just acclimating, more
    psychological than anything.

    I forget that not everybody has acclimated to the fish sauce though.
    When we take friends to Vietnamese places I'm always surprised at how
    fearful they are about the fish sauce.

    On Saturday night we ate a Vietnamese place that serves 8 course of
    fish, and there were four small bowls of fish sauce; regular nuac mam,
    another version which was more spicy version, nuoc cham which is
    peanuty and used for spring rolls, and then a thick greyish one with a
    cheesy smell/taste to it. We find the latter in joints that serve food
    from Hue, in central Vietnam, more often than those with South
    Vietnamese fare. The first thing the non-Asian floor manager did after
    chatting with us briefly, was to take that bowl away. We stopped him
    and he was genuinely shocked that non-Asians would touch it. But we do
    use it very judiciously.

    The horror of drinking a 1/4 tsp of nuoc mam is really pretty funny. I
    don't find any use in it, but could chug a 1/2 cup I suppose. Once
    while touring Mexico with a musical group we were eating in a
    restaurant with our interpreter. One musician who found jalapeņos
    equivalent to fire-eating, offered our Mexican friend 40 bucks to eat a
    whole jalapeno. The guy popped one his mouth and stuck out his hand. My
    buddy got very little entertainment for his money. The interpreter said
    something to another person near by, and that guy offered to eat two
    for $50. My buddy declined.

    It seems I've read that it is made by putting a few bushels of
    anchovies, and likely other small fish, sardines and smelt and such
    into a big barrel perhaps in some vinegar, and letting them
    disintegrate.

    My wife, who's cooks some Vietnamese dishes yells from the next room:

    Nuoc mam as we find it in the restaurants is actually nuac mam lac, or
    a lighter version of fish sauce used for dipping. It has a significant
    amount of sugar and some chili's added. The peanutty sauce is nuoc
    leo, and we're still arguing over whether it has any actual fish sauce
    in it (as nuoc cham dau phung).


  19. #19
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Mon, 17 May 2010 08:55:43 -0400, James Silverton wrote:

    > Incorporated into various dishes, marinades and sauces in the correct
    > (small) quantities,*Thai* fish sauce adds a great flavor to various
    > dishes.


    Thai fish sauce is the same as Vietnamese. Most Thai brands are
    made in Vietnam (Phu Quoc to be exact). Golden Boy is an exception.

    -sw

  20. #20
    blake murphy Guest

    Default Re: Vietnamese fish sauce

    On Sun, 16 May 2010 15:32:26 -0500, George Shirley wrote:

    > James Silverton wrote:
    >> Hello All!
    >>
    >> A question was asked recently about the naming of fish sauce but I can't
    >> find the post. Anyway, I came across this:
    >> -----------------------------
    >> Clay's Kitchen
    >> Fish sauce is called "nam pla" in Thailand, "nuoc mam" in Vietnam,
    >> "patis" in the Philippines, "shottsuru" in Japan, "ngan-pya-ye" in
    >> Burma, "tuk trey" in Cambodia, "nam pa" in Laos, and "yeesui" in
    >> China. The name basically means "fish water".
    >>
    >> http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/...cgi?fish-sauce
    >>
    >> --------------------------------
    >>
    >> I don't speak any East Asian languages but I do make foods from all
    >> those places and I can see why the names confuse me.
    >>

    >
    > I'm confused and I don't eat fish sauce. I knew fish made water in the
    > water but didn't know it had so many ethnic names. <G>


    <snort>

    they **** in there, too.

    your pal,
    william claude

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