Vietnamese fish sauce in the United States

Vietnamese fish sauce is the juice of fish, shrimp which are macerated with salt for a long time. This sauce is widely used in Vietnamese cuisine. The birth of Red Boat Vietnamese fish sauce, along with many other brands, comes from the goal of a boy who wants to please his mother.

Vietnamese fish sauce

In 1979, Cuong Pham left Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, with his parents to go to the United States. They settled in southern California. Later, he became an engineer and worked 16 years for Apple.

Living away from native land for many years, Cuong Pham still remembers very clearly the flavor of Phu Quoc's fish sauce. His uncle owned here a fish sauce shop who often offered to Cuong’s family the 20-liter jars belonging to the category selected for family consumption. "I love the taste of fish sauce in every dish prepared every day by my mother." he said, "The fish sauce is very pure, clean, original, salted at first but very tasty afterwards."

This taste is different from the fish sauce sold in the United States where his mother had to accept Thailand's more salty products. She could not find the Vietnamese fish sauce as in her native country.

It is for this reason that Cuong decided to open his own fish sauce business. He agreed to give up his security that the job of computer consultant in the valley of Silicone brings him to come back to the Phu Quoc Island. In 2006, he decided to expand his small family owned factory. The result is the birth of the Vietnamese fish sauce called Red Boat.

In the center of Duong Dong - the largest city on the island of Phu Quoc, people can smell the fish sauce before seeing its factory. As soon as the factory was opened, the odor became much more tangible, with 85 large wooden open barrels. Inside, according to The Economist, there is the vital element of Southeast Asia.

Fish sauce is a protein source for millions of people and also the focal point for the varied cuisine of this region, such as olive oil in southern Italy. This sauce has many names: Nam Pla in Thailand, Tuk Trey in Cambodia, Patis in the Philippines... In many other countries, such as Myanmar and Cambodia, people also eat fermented fish...

In the Cuong’s workshop, each barrel has 12 tons of anchovy caught in the Gulf of Thailand, marinated with salt sea. When the products obtain the standards, the staff opens the tap in the bottom of barrel so that juice flow in the bottles or taste Vietnamese fish sauce to all visitors...

Phu Quoc is famous for fish sauce. However, most production workshop keep the sauce 'Nhi' for their own consumption. These are the first droplets coming from barrel that the uncle offered to his family.

However, Cuong still sells fish sauce '' Nhi ''. "Everyone thinks I'm crazy because I sell it" the 60 aged old man said: "Everybody understands that you should not sell the first bottle. You have to keep it to consume. “So the amount of product of his company is limited. A tank of 12 tons of anchovy gives only 3000 liters. That means he lost 4 kg of fish to produce one liter. Then, only about 30% of Vietnamese fish sauce '' Nhi '' produced in his workshop are reserved for export...

Of course, its price will be respectively expensive. A bottle of fish sauce '' Nhi '' can cost 3 times more expensive than the normal sauce or 9 USD for 250ml. This kind of sauce is very rich protein and very tasty.

Before, Westerners did not like Vietnamese fish sauce. However, this is changing rapidly. Because, with this sauce, dishes become even tastier that salt cannot do. Whatever the purpose, Cuong wants to make this sauce for those who are far from home village as his mother, but chefs in Asia Pacific and Europe are also convinced by the unique quality of Vietnamese fish sauce...

This product is not only sold on the stands of Whole Foods - a chain of stores that sell organic food - but also is present in restaurants of a series of famous chefs in the US, such as Cockscomb or State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, Qui in Austin or 610 Magnolia in Louisville ...

But this is more important for Cuong, this makes her mother and hundreds of thousands people like her happy. They only want the search for the perfumes of the motherland by living away. Cuong shared: I am delighted to see an elderly woman limp from an Asian store, on her hand, this is our product. It's amazing. Customer is discovering the quality of Vietnamese fish sauce!