A question about a recipe: Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

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?

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11 Comments

Posie (. December 4, 2013
Red Boat is excellent and sold on Provisions! http://food52.com/provisions/products/477-red-boat-fish-sauce-40-n-and-red-boat-fish-salt
 
Ellen December 4, 2013
Cooks Illustrated recommends Tiparos
 
Trena H. December 4, 2013
I like red boat. You can buy it at Whole Foods market.
 
monkeymom December 4, 2013
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.
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Greenstuff December 4, 2013
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.
 
Eliz. December 4, 2013
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.
 
dymnyno December 5, 2013
Since Barbara Tropp died so many years ago, her marginalia is very out of date.
 
HalfPint December 4, 2013
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").
 
Michael W. December 4, 2013
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)
 
HalfPint December 4, 2013
Here's some practical advice for buying fish sauce,
http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2008/11/fish-sauce-buying-guide.html
 
pierino December 4, 2013
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.
 
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