Fish sauce

Fish sauce
Thai fish sauce

Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in numerous cultures in Southeast Asia and the coastal regions of East Asia, and features heavily in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. In addition to being added to dishes during the cooking process, fish sauce can also be used in mixed form as a dipping condiment, and it is done in many different ways by each country mentioned for fish, shrimp, pork, and chicken. In parts of southern China, it is used as an ingredient for soups and casseroles.

Fish sauce, and its derivatives, impart an umami flavor to food due to their glutamate content.[1]



Some fish sauces (extracts) are made from raw fish, others from dried fish; some from only a single species, others from whatever is dredged up in the net, including some shellfish; some from whole fish, others from only the blood or viscera. Some fish sauces contain only fish and salt, others add a variety of herbs and spices. Fish sauce that has been only briefly fermented has a pronounced fishy taste, while extended fermentation reduces this and gives the product a nuttier, cheesier flavor.

Southeast Asian

Southeast Asian fish sauce is often made from anchovies, salt and water, and is often used in moderation because it is intensely flavoured. Anchovies and salt are arranged in wooden boxes to ferment and are slowly pressed, yielding the salty, fishy liquid. (The salt extracts the liquid via osmosis.) The variety from Vietnam is generally called nước mắm (well known by brand names including nước mắm Phú Quốc (Phu Quoc) and nước mắm Phan Thiết (Phan Thiet)). Nước chấm is a Vietnamese prepared fish sauce condiment dipping sauce. Similar condiments from Thailand and Burma are called nam pla (น้ำปลา) and ngan bya yay (ငံပြာရည်) respectively. In Lao/Isan it is called nam pa, but a chunkier, more aromatic version known as padaek is also used. In Cambodia, it is known as teuk trei (ទឹកត្រី), of which there are a variety of sauces using fish sauce as a base.

Fish sauce factory in Phú Quốc, Vietnam

The Indonesian semi-solid fish paste terasi, the Cambodian prahok and the Malay fermented krill brick belacan or budu from liquid anchovies are other popular variations of the same theme.

The similar Philippine version common to Indochina is called patis. Patis which is a by-product of bagoong is nearly always cooked prior to consumption (even if used as an accent to salads or other raw dishes), or used as a cooking ingredient. It is used in cooking many dishes including a rice porridge called arroz caldo and as a condiment for fried fish. It is also used in place of table salt in meals to enhance the flavor of the food, where it can either be dashed from a dispensing bottle onto the food, or poured into a saucer and mixed with calamansi and used as a dipping sauce.

Southeast Asians generally use fish sauce as a cooking sauce. However, there is a sweet and sour version of this sauce which is used more commonly as a dipping sauce (see nước chấm). In Thailand, fish sauce is used in cooking and is also kept in a jar at the table for use as a condiment. This jar often contains a mixture of fish sauce, lime juice, and chopped hot chilies, called phrik nam pla.

It is mainly the ethnic Chinese (usually Hokkien and Teochew) who cook with fish sauce (鱼露 yǘlù, 虾油 xīayú in Hokkien) in Indonesia and Malaysia. Fish sauce is a staple of many dishes in cuisines such as Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian.

Japanese Fish sauce,Shottsuru & Ishiru.


In Japan, it is used as a seasoning of local specialties. Ishiru in the Noto Peninsula is made from the sardine and the squid. Shottsuru of Akita Prefecture is chiefly made from the sailfin sandfish. Ikanago shoyu of Kagawa Prefecture is made from the sand lance. They are often reserved for the preparation of nabemono.


In Korea, it is called aekjeot or jeotgal, and is used as a crucial ingredient in many types of kimchi (usually from myoelchi, anchovy or kanari which is made from sand lance), both for taste and fermentation. The anchovy-based fish sauce lends itself well to the making of radish type kimchi. Kanari type fish sauce is more expensive than the anchovy-based fish sauce and is usually reserved for the preparation of special cabbage (baechu) kimchi. Saewoojeot (shrimp) is also popular as side sauce.


Ruins of a Roman garum factory near Tarifa, Spain

Fish sauce seems to have originated in ancient Greece between 4-3rd century BC. It was made with a lower salt content than modern fish sauces[2] .

A similar fish sauce was ubiquitous in Classical Roman cooking, where in Latin it is known as garum or liquamen, and also existed in many varieties such as oenogarum (mixed with wine), oxygarum (mixed with vinegar) and meligarum (mixed with honey). It was one of the trade specialties in Hispania Baetica. It was made of a variety of fish including tuna, mackerel, moray eel, and anchovies.[3] Garum was frequently maligned as smelling bad or rotten, being called, for example, "evil-smelling fish sauce."[citation needed]

In English it was formerly translated as fishpickle. The original Worcestershire sauce is a related product because it is fermented and contains anchovies.

See also


  1. ^ From Poot-Poot to Fish Sauce to Umami to MSG Seashore Foraging & Fishing Study. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  2. ^ Grainger, Sally. "Fish Sauce: An Ancient Condiment". Good Food SAT OCT 1, 2011. National Public Radio. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Introduction to Paul Wilkinson, Pompeii: The Last Day, London BBC Productions 2003.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • fish sauce — various fish species have been used in fish sauces, e.g. and q.v. cut lunch herring, fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, garum, ketchup, liquamen, milt sauce, moochim, muria, mustard herring, etc. Often used for an oriental spicy condiment or… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • fish-sauce — various fish species have been used in fish sauces, e.g. and q.v. cut lunch herring, fermented fish sauce, fish sauce, garum, ketchup, liquamen, milt sauce, moochim, muria, mustard herring, etc. Often used for an oriental spicy condiment or… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • fish sauce — ▪ seasoning       in Southeast Asian cookery, a liquid seasoning prepared by fermenting freshwater or saltwater fish with salt in large vats. After a few months time, the resulting brownish, protein rich liquid is drawn off and bottled. It is… …   Universalium

  • Fish sauce — Nuoc mâm Sauces thaïlandaises Le nước mắm (vietnamien) (écrit plus souvent nuoc mâm en français) est une sauce à base de poisson fermenté dans une saumure. Il est également connu sous les noms de sauce poisson, fish sauce (en anglais) ou nam pla… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • fish sauce — /fɪʃ ˈsɔs/ (say fish saws) noun a sauce made from the liquid of salted fish packed in wooden barrels, used as an ingredient in Asian cookery …   Australian English dictionary

  • fish sauce — noun A sauce derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment, used as a condiment …   Wiktionary

  • fish sauce — noun Etymology: translation of Vietnamese nuóc măm or Thai námplaa : a sauce made of fermented anchovies used in Asian cooking * * * n. a Thai and Vietnamese sauce used as a flavoring or condiment, prepared from fermented anchovies and salt …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fish sauce — …   Википедия

  • Thai fish sauce — a sauce made from salted and fermented fish. Also called fish gravy …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • Japanese fish sauce — a sauce mad of small fermented fish, very strong and used as a flavouring and condiment …   Dictionary of ichthyology

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