Red Boat Fish Sauce 40 N is the name of the only production of the legendary NUOC MAM NHI fish sauce from Vietnam to be found in this country. Fish sauce, called Nam Pla, Patis, and others are made in Thailand or the Phillipines, but usually not only out of fish and salt. In western cuisine, fish sauce is now considered a semi-forgotten culinary relic of Roman garum. But fish sauce is a vibrant and necessary part of Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. Even Japan has a fish sauce, the rare Uogashi Shoyu, the original “soy” sauce which Corti Brothers imports.
Vietnam has long been the producer of the legendary Nuoc Mam; its production on the islands of Phu Quoc considered the best produced in the country and until now unavailable. Although, there are a lot of sauces labeled Nuoc Mam, most are made in Thailand or else where. With RED BOAT you are assured of the genuine product.
On the Red Boat label you will note the characters “40̊N.” This is the industry measure for the grams of nitrogen per liter of fish sauce calculated as protein. The higher the number, the richer the sauce. The ingredients are only two: cá com--the fresh black anchovy fished in the area--and sea salt. Nothing else.
“But why should I buy fish sauce?” you may well ask. Just to be able to experience the lift it gives to basic ingredients like simply cooked vegetables, in place of salt. A bit added to tomato sauce improves its “tomato-y-ness.” Use it in place of anchovies in any recipe calling for them. Then, use your imagination. It is what cooking is about.