Friday, December 28, 2012

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Vietnamese Sauces

Nuoc Cham and Nuoc Mam

People really love Vietnamese Nuoc Cham and Nuoc Mam. They really want to learn how to make it. It seems a guared family secret because each Vietnamese family has a different way to create it. And this is how vital this golden elixir feigns in Vietnamese Food. Like how olive oil is to the Italians, Red wine is to the French, Ketchup is to French Fries, is popular all over the world.

The Vietnamese Dipping Fish Sauce (Nuoc Cham) and Fish Sauce ( Nuoc Mam) having a yellow light, a distinctive and delicious smell, mild flavor were been exported to European, Asian, American, Australian markets. Now , Comrades and Friends can enjoy one of Vietnamese cuisine.

One of the very basic staples to make one of delicious and easy Vietnamese recipes of fish sauce is the dipping fish sauce that can be used as a dip for spring rolls, as a dressing for noodles and rice or as a marinade for grilled meat. It is like magic when you take fish sauce, mix it with a little lime, garlic and chili. Fish sauce in it is pure form them becomes a little softer, subdued and more manageable on the palette. It then becomes the dip what Vietnamese call, Vietnamese Dipping Fish Sauce (Nuoc Cham).

It is used to accompany various Vietnamese dishes. Often called Dipping sauce (Nuoc cham), Mixed fish sauce (Nuoc mam pha, Sweet and sour fish sauce (Nuoc mam chua ngot). There are many variations of Fish sauce, but it all starts off from the basic Fish Sauce.

Fish sauce is to Vietnamese cooking what salt is to Western and soy sauce to Chinese cooking. Fish sauce is used as a condiment and flavoring. It is included in practically all recipes. The Vietnamese fish sauce is so famous that foreign books and newspapers especially cooking books written in English or French, verbatim use the term “ sauce nuoc mam “, not ” fish sauce ” or ” la saumure ” any more. It has made a name for itself.

Here’s a little history: Vietnam has a coastline which stretches over 1900 miles. Therefore, Vietnamese fish sauce with the specific and well-known saltiness and smell is popular and irreplaceable. Also, thanks to the preferential treatment from nature, Vietnam has plentiful sources from the sea so the local residents can process sauce from shrimp, sauce from squid, sauce from freshwater crab, and even sauce from fat-full crabs. Whatever it is made from, the most common taste of Vietnamese people is its unique saltiness, so Vietnamese fish sauce is always strongly delicious.

The unique characteristic of fish sauce is salty flavor and fishy smell. One interesting characteristic of fish sauce is that it loses its fishy odor once it is mixed in with other ingredients. It is commonly used as seasoning for cooking and dipping seafood and other Vietnamese foods.

Raw material of making fish sauce is fish containning much protein and some necessary substances that are good for health.
Only the fresh anchovy fish makes the good quality fish sauce that is clear in color and good smell. For the pure fish sauce, fresh anchovy fish sauce is selected and mixed with salt by using Vietnamese own traditional process.
With fresh and high quality materials, the factory uses conventional production technology of which ferment naturally. Keeping fish tanks are made by jack-wood for color and smell of fish sauce in natural. The temperature of keeping room is always at 25-30oC. Due to the HACCP standard for production processing so that products are strictly examined.

Every day, technical workers have to clean outside of keeping chamber, and follow up the ferment process, if products are discovered moldy scum or color, smell, taste, pure, protein are not reached…they will process timely for equal quality of product. Fish sauce is bottled and stored in low temperature within 10-15 days before delivering it to consumers.

We can add many ingredients to the fish sauce, to create a specific taste for each dish. The Vietnamese are masters at making and using their dipping sauces.

Here is an example of how the Vietnamese combine a lot of the ingredients. The fish sauce can be diluted with a little boiling water. Add a little sourness of dainty rice vinegar, the sweetness of sugar, the pungency of garlic, the aroma of black pepper, spotted with some slices of spicy Serrano peppers, combined with carrots or a bit lemon. It is all blended in a bowl of fish sauce, which is apricot yellow like honey with the distinctive taste and it can’t be confused among other sauces.

The taste of fish sauce is salty but flavorful, and very sophisticated, ceremonious, popular, but greatly delicate.
We hope you will feel the richness and sophistication of Vietnamese through the Dipping Fish Sauce (Nuoc Cham) and Fish Sauce ( Nuoc Mam)

Source: FB - Socialist VIETNAMs View

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