I have a question about the recipe "Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)" from thaifoodie. What type of fish sauce would you use? I went to my local Asian market and was overwhelmed with the varieties. Brand or name if you can please?
HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
Any of fish sauce from Vietnam or Thailand will work. I don't recommend Philipino fish sauce because it tends to be really strong and, for me, it tastes different from the stuff from Vietname and Thailand.
As for specific brands, I like Red Boat, 3 Crabs, and Squid Brand. You will find that even though some of the brands say that they are from Phu Quoc (Vietnam), they're made in Thailand (label says "Product of Thailand").
Hit the reply and nothing dropped in, but thank you HalfPint! For my last Thai try I definitely had the wrong fish sauce as it made the dish potent (could have easily been my doing ;) probably)
Here's some practical advice for buying fish sauce,
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
First of all, lucky you for having a panoply of Asian ingredients to shop from. I also use Viet Huong "Three Crabs" and I am pretty happy with it. My bottle say's "Product of Hong Kong". All that means to the USDA is that's where it's bottled. It could be blended and shipped from just about anywhere.
Unfortunately for myself,I have to drag my butt down to LA or OC to restock on my Asian stuff.
Disclaimer: My information might be dated, but some Asian-American home cooks recommend *NOT* buying 3 Crabs since it is--or was--produced using chemicals which they swear affects the flavor. I've followed advice from Barbara Tropp marginalia and use Golden Boy (made in Thailand). That said, the *type* of fish sauce is what you need to take into account. "Nuoc Mam" is what I own. FYI: Donrockwell.com, a culinary board based in D.C. metro area has a great, active member who uses Fishinnards as his online moniker. His photographs of Thai home-cooking are extraordinary and he'd be a good person to consult.
Since Barbara Tropp died so many years ago, her marginalia is very out of date.
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
I've liked Golden Boy too. What people object to in the Three Crabs brand is that it is not naturally fermented but instead gets its flavors from a bunch of additives. Some people think it has a metallic taste. Red Boat has gotten a whole lot of attention, and it's additive-free.
Tiparos is usually easy to find. It works well in both Thai and Vietnamese recipes. I recently took a very good Thai cooking class and it is the brand that the instructor (who is Thai and very picky) recommended.
I like red boat. You can buy it at Whole Foods market.
Cooks Illustrated recommends Tiparos
Red Boat is excellent and sold on Provisions! http://food52.com/provisions...
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