MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
       Title: Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam)
  Categories: Vietnamese, Information, Ceideburg 2
       Yield: 1 servings
       1    Fish Sauce Information
   Fish sauce is to Vietnamese cooking what salt is to Western and soy
   sauce to Chinese cooking.  It is included in practically all recipes.
   Prepared from fresh anchovies and salt, layered in huge wooden
   barrels, the manufacture of fish sauce is a major industry.  The
   factories are located along the coast to assure the freshness of the
   fish to be processed. Fermentation is started once a year, during the
   fishing season. After about 3 months in the barrel, liquid drips from
   an open spigot, to be poured back into the top of the barrel.  After
   about 6 months the fish sauce is produced.
   The first draining is the very best fish sauce, lighter in color and
   perfectly clear.  [Kinda like “Extra Virgin” fish sauce.  S.C.] It is
   relatively expensive and is reserved for table use.  The second and
   third drainings yield a fish sauce of lower quality and lower cost
   for general- purpose cooking.  The two towns most noted for their
   fish sauce are Phu Quoc and Phan Thiet.  Phu Quoc produces the best
   fish sauce, some of which is exported.  On the label, the “nhi”
   signifies the highest quality. When fish sauce manufactured in
   Vietnam is not available, that of Thailand or Hong Kong is quite
   acceptable.  Philippine or Chinese fish sauce will not be
   satisfactory.  For table use and available in all Oriental groceries
   is Squid Brand Fish Sauce, the best one on the market. Whatever
   brand, look for the “Ca Com” on the label, which means that only
   anchovies were used++an indication of the highest quality for table
   From “The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam”, Bach Ngo and Gloria Zimmerman,
   Barron’s, 1979.
   Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; February 2 1992.