Fish Sauce

Fish Sauce
Nuoc Mam

Fish sauce is the most popular Vietnamese seasoning. Vietnamese called it Nước Mm. Vietnam is bound by the South China Sea. There is a plethora of seafood.

Fish sauce is made of different types of fish. Anchovies are the tastiest. Making fish sauce is a lengthy process.

As a little girl, my aunt's mother taught her how to create homemade fish sauce. The first step was layering the fish with cooked rice, sweet rice wine, and salt. This was allowed to marinate for at least 30 days. A batch of marinated fish created 3 types of fish sauce.

The first type of liquid was called N
ước Mm Nhĩ. After the liquid had been extracted from the batch, water and salt were added. That batch was then cooked for at least one hour. The liquid extracted from that batch was called Nước Mm Nht.

After the liquid had been extracted from the marinated fish, more water and salt were added. The third batch was cooked for at least one more hour. The liquid extracted was called plain N
ước Mm.

All three types of fish sauce were cooked individually and thoroughly with more ingredients added such as sugar and salt as needed. N
ước Mm Nhĩ  is the best tasting.

Upper class Vietnamese use this type as a dipping sauce. N
ước Mm Nht is also very good. Nước Mm Nht is less pungent and thinner than Nước Mm Nhĩ. Some folk prefer Nước Mm Nht to Nước Mm Nhĩ. It is common among middle class Vietnamese.

Regular Nước Mm is the cheapest and used primarily for cooking.