Traditional fish sauce
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Traditional fish sauce

06/01/2019 02:48

Vietnamese people prefer rich processing, mixing many spices to help increase the taste and attractiveness of each dish. Therefore, Vietnamese people are very fond of fish sauce, a study shows that, on average, each Vietnamese uses 4 drops of fish sauce per day. However, in order to produce delicious, round and healthy dishes, our grandparents used to only use traditional fish sauce. Traditional fish sauce lives a long life with Vietnamese people in the days before, today and in the days after, forever.


1. What is traditional fish sauce? Why is it called traditional fish sauce?
Fish sauce in common sense is the ooze from fish and shrimp that is filtered after undergoing a long-term incubation with salt in wooden jars and barrels. Traditional fish sauce is an abbreviation showing the traditional method of fish sauce production to distinguish it from the industrial way of producing fish sauce.

The way to call traditional fish sauce is simply to show the traditional fish sauce production process by the method of incubating the fish with salted grains, following the way of his father for hundreds of years.

Traditional fish sauce

Previously, there was no concept of traditional fish sauce or industrial fish sauce. Because people everywhere only use fish and salt to make fish sauce. However, when entering the stage of industrialization of the country, fish sauce changed from manual processing to industrial production in line. The traditional complex of his father was gradually replaced by spices and different ways of mixing to produce a fish sauce, more precisely, the fake, cheap and cheap dipping sauce with the name. That's why the traditional way of calling fish sauce was born. The purpose is to distinguish it from industrial fish sauce.

2. The position of traditional fish sauce in Vietnamese culture and life

In the tray of Vietnamese rice, there must always be a cup of fish sauce to make the dish more delicious and the family more connected. This is a habit of many families that have been maintained through generations for thousands of years. Fish sauce is both a seasoning, a dish, and functional food that helps to supplement nutrition for Vietnamese people, even, in some cases, it is also a medicine to treat diseases and conditions. enhance human health.

Remember the old days, when times were hard, every house had a jar of fish sauce to save in the kitchen. The bowl of white rice is stuffed with potatoes, wild vegetables are available for meals, and a little bit of fish sauce is added to eat. The poor family's meal is so simple but surprisingly delicious. This flavor can only be caused by the traditional fish sauce made from delicious fish and clean salt, how can the artificial chemical industry fish sauce be compared.

Fish sauce is the soul of Vietnamese cuisine, which makes Vietnamese cuisine different from the cuisine of other countries, even some people think that fish sauce is something that can transform other people's dishes into delicious dishes. Vietnamese food. The value of fish sauce thus becomes unique in the culinary arts in particular, in the strong vitality of Vietnamese culture in general. Later, our feet went everywhere, beyond this S-shaped border, enjoying all kinds of delicious dishes in all shapes and sizes in the world but could not replace the taste of the old fish sauce. That salty, sweet substance has been generalized to become a country soul, a country soul, and a national soul. In a faraway country, just smelling the fish sauce in the air is enough to sting the eyes.

If Westerners are quite picky in the way of making sauce, Vietnamese people are no less sophisticated in making fish sauce. Duck meat is dipped in ginger sauce. Bun cha is dipped in sweet and sour fish sauce. Boiled vegetables are dipped braised. Vegetables are dipped in fish sauce with lemon and eggs... Although it is a familiar dipping dish, close to all Vietnamese, in each region, the taste of using fish sauce is different. But it must be traditional fish sauce to push the flavor of the dish to the climax. With traditional fish sauce, only about a tablespoon of rice, a little more lemon juice is enough. But industrial fish sauce to eat, you have to be pickier. Do you have to add sugar, add main noodles, add filtered water... The way to make it takes time, but the taste is not sure to make you satisfied. That's why people who eat traditional fish sauce are used to tasting industrial fish sauce and can't eat it.

3. How is traditional fish sauce made?

Must spend sophisticated words to talk about the traditional fish sauce processing process. Industrial fish sauce is mainly water and chemicals, so production is very quick and simple. However, traditional fish sauce is not so neat. The skilled and long-time worker devotes a lot of enthusiasm to his drops of fish sauce. If the processing of fish sauce is an art, the workers must be the best and most talented artists.

Depending on the region and craft village, people have different processing methods. The same is the traditional fish sauce, but the taste, color, and protein are therefore also different.

The first is to choose fresh ingredients.
Fish sauce produced by the traditional method only includes fish and salt, in addition to not adding any other ingredients. Fish for fish sauce is fresh fish, caught at the right age and in the right season. Fish for making fish sauce is also very rich such as scad, tuna, mackerel, salmon...but the most popular is anchovies, especially anchovies. This fish has a high protein content, more minerals than freshwater fish, a better calcium/phosphorus ratio than meat, their food is ephemeral, so the taste and quality of fish sauce are extremely good.

The salt to make fish sauce must not be junk salt, but must be the type of salt taken from the best salt fields. Usually, people will take their own local salt to make fish sauce. Before using, salt must be stored from 3 months to 1 year to release all-metal, fish sauce when eaten is not a bitter or sore throat.

Then the fish and salt will be mixed together according to the ratio of each place and then put in the chop
The most common marinade ratio today is 3:1. However, the golden ratio is 8:2. With a ratio of 8:2 for a fish sauce with high protein but the taste is not too salty, suitable for the taste of most Vietnamese people.

In the brewing stage, depending on each craft village, people will use the method of beating or suppressing. Besides, depending on each locality, there are places to dry fish sauce outdoors, and there are places to make the fish sauce in barrel houses. It takes at least 12 months to more than 2 years to produce finished fish sauce with guaranteed quality.

Pulling out the finished fish sauce:
 The first withdrawal of fish sauce is called fish sauce or fish sauce. This is a premium fish sauce with high protein and the most delicious taste. The next draw fish sauce has almost been mixed with water and salt, the fish sauce is still clean and safe, but of course, the quality is not as good as the first drawn fish sauce. In the past, fish sauce was often stored in terracotta jars or jars, the mouth was covered with a layer of earth or inserted a layer of cloth so that the fish sauce would not lose its flavor. Today, fish sauce is stored in glass bottles that are both beautiful and easy to pack for travel.

4. Distinguish traditional fish sauce and industrial fish sauce
The same fish sauce, but due to different processing and production processes, it is easy to understand when we can easily identify traditional fish sauce and industrial fish sauce through the following 6 basic factors:

Ingredient: The ingredients of traditional fish sauce include only fish and salt. As for the ingredients of industrial fish sauce, there is only fish sauce with a small amount, water and more than a dozen flavor enhancers, colorants, preservatives, acidity regulators, etc. Traditional is a completely natural product, it is different from industrial fish sauce, which is a mixture of chemical water.

Fragrant: Traditional fish sauce when smelling will have the natural salty smell of salted fish, but greasy and mild. Some fish sauces have a strong smell due to the stirring salt method - adding salt repeatedly or because the local fish used has a strong smell.

The industrial fish sauce uses aromatherapy, so when you smell it, it will be very fake, not as fragrant as traditional fish sauce.

Taste: Traditional fish sauce has a salty taste, but is sweet in the aftertaste. This is the rich salty taste and natural sweetness of the high amino acid protein in fish sauce.

Industrial fish sauce has the sweet taste of chemical sugar and flavor enhancer. That sweetness melts quickly on the tip of the tongue and has no aftertaste. In addition, production facilities also add a number of other ingredients such as industrial sugar, acid taste modifiers to bring a slightly sour taste to fish sauce, synthetic fish flavor (maybe salmon flavor).

Color: Depending on the type of fish and the processing method, the industrial fish sauce will have a yellow-brown color or cockroach wings, clear like amber, and will turn color for a long time.

Industrial fish sauce for coloring chemicals is used, so the color is very pale and there is no discoloration

Protein: Traditional fish sauce has only 20 - 30 gN/l of protein, the highest with only about 40 degrees of protein. Industrial fish sauce has a high protein content due to the addition of a large amount of synthetic protein during the production process.

Price: Traditional fish sauce is more expensive than industrial fish sauce. Many customers choose industrial fish sauce because of its low price. However, the cheapness of industrial fish sauce entails many harms.

Distinguishing fish sauce: The specialty of Ngu Quynh (Nghe An) pure fish sauce is made from the traditional craft brewing method in the fish village for a long time. After many years of hard ups and downs, along with the strict production process of fish sauce, from the selection of fish to the processing of fermenting chop, the perfect finished product from taste to quality. Ngu Quynh confidently brings you delicious, clean, and safe traditional fish sauce products.