vietnam travel covid 19 updates

Stay updated with the latest news of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and information for traveling to Vietnam. Read more here.

Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

How Vietnamese Fish Sauce is Made


Fish sauce has been a part of Vietnamese cuisine for a long time. It is usually called as “Nuoc mam” by the locals. In Vietnamese kitchens, Nuoc mam is an essential spice to make the flavor of some food more tasteful and appetizing. At first, you may find the smell of Vietnamese fish sauce a bit pungent, but once you get used to it, you will definitely feel like the dishes are incomplete without the seasoning of fish sauce. Our guideline will introduce how Vietnamese people make the fish sauce and some special way of processing the savory and mouth-watering dipping fish sauce.

Fish Sauce Production Stages


vietnamese fish sauce fishing anchovy 2 vietnamese fish sauce fishing anchovy 1

To make a delicious fish sauce, fishing for the ingredient is an important step. There are many kinds of fish could be used as the main ingredient of fish sauce, but anchovy is the best one. This kind of fish is not only a crucial factor to make the fish sauce more aromatic and delicious, but it also disintegrates into sauce more quickly and easily than others. The peak season of collecting anchovy is from July to December. The fishermen often use their fishing nets to lure them in and catch them. After fishing, the fish would be transported to ports and bought by local traders.

Fermenting process

vietnamese fish sauce fermenting process 1

Producers frequently process anchovy a bit before mixing them with salt; the ratio of fish and salt is about 3:1. Then, the mixture is contained in huge wooden jars and covered carefully and tightly. Local producers have to keep the mixture away from insects, rain, and dust. Otherwise, the flavor of fish sauce will be ruined. The period of disintegration is about a year, and the producers need to take care and stir the sauce weekly for several times to make sure the mixture blend in well. Like most fermented products, the longer the period of disintegration, the better the taste of the sauce.

vietnamese fish sauce fermenting procress 2 vietnamese fish sauce fermenting procress 3


vietnamese fish sauce final product packaging

The most delicious and tasteful sauce made in the traditional way and recipe has a brownish-red color and a unique salty and meaty taste. Local producers sometimes check the quality of fish sauce by checking the color and amount of protein of the sauce before it is packed in glass bottles. Depending on each coastal area in Vietnam, local producers would add some other different stages to make their unique fish sauce. After being manufactured, products are delivered by trucks to many places such as local markets, supermarkets to sell for consumers.

Check out the First Fish Sauce Museum in Vietnam.

Where You can Buy Vietnamese Fish Sauce

Phu Quoc Island is always known as a special place to produce fish sauce in Vietnam. In this coastal area, there are a lot of anchovy for local fishermen to hunt. Moreover, the production of fish sauce has become a traditional business of some local families here.

The locals prefer products of fish sauce in Phu Quoc than ones in other places because of the low price and high quality. Besides, you can come to Vietnamese supermarkets or local markets to purchase bottles of original fish sauce if you could not come to Phu Quoc Island. Not only in Phu Quoc, but you also try out the original fish sauce in other coastal places such as Nha Trang, Mui Ne, and Phan Thiet. Every coastal place has a special flavor in their products.

Fish Sauce in Vietnamese Cuisine


In Vietnamese cuisine, fish sauce is used as a crucial spice like sugar, salt, MSG, and pepper. It is an important ingredient instead of salt to add flavor to special Vietnamese meals like braised pork (thit kho), deep-fried fish or chicken and soup. It is also used to pickle radish and carrot in a side dish called "dua mon" that is usually served with Banh chung on Tet holiday.

Dipping sauce - the sweet and sour fish sauce

vietnamese fish sauce 1

Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake), Goi cuon (Spring Rolls), and Banh cuon (Steamed Rice Rolls) are often served with fish sauce in many Vietnamese food stalls. Actually, the sauce served with these foods has been added some ingredients such as sugar, chili, garlic, and lime juice. Its flavor is a bit sour and sweet. The original fish sauce is rarely used as a dipping sauce because its flavor is a little fishy and salty unless you eat with steamed food that has little seasoning like steamed fish, boiled pork, and boiled vegetable.

Dressing sauce - the sweet and sour fish sauce or savory fish sauce

vietnamese fish sauce sweet sour sauce

In other foods such as noodle dishes, Vietnamese also mix the original fish sauce with other ingredients to reduce its saltiness and smell. Especially in Bun thit nuong (grilled pork vermicelli) and Bun cha, local people would dress the mixture of fish sauce on the fresh Bun (vermicelli) to give it a little savory flavor right before eating. The sweet and sour mixture of fish sauce and the savory version made by diluting the fish sauce with water are both used depends on personal preference. One of the unusual examples of the use of fish sauce is in Bun cha; you can see the fish sauce is added with a lot of water, seasoned with MSG and pepper and cooked like a broth.

Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
for fun and insightful trips in Ho Chi Minh City!

family outing in ho chi minh city motorcycle

Summary of How to Make Vietnamese Fish Sauce

If you have never tried this kind of sauce, the fish sauce should be on the top of your must-try list. Fish sauce has become a traditional sauce in every meal in each Vietnamese family. Besides fish sauce, there are other kinds of sauce that are often paired with Vietnamese food, but it is always the best choice of the locals.

Try Vietnamese cuisine with fish sauce on our food tours and learn more about the sauce by tasting it.



Guest - Chandler Jayz on Sunday, 15 March 2020 20:08

I learn to love fish sauce after the amazing food tour in Ho Chi Minh

I learn to love fish sauce after the amazing food tour in Ho Chi Minh
Guest - Murray Hansons on Saturday, 04 January 2020 14:44

most Vietnamese dishes have the fish sauce diluted and seasoned and it is so amazing. As much as I am usually put off by the smell of the original fish sauce, I completely adore the well-mixed fish sauce, it goes so well with everything

most Vietnamese dishes have the fish sauce diluted and seasoned and it is so amazing. As much as I am usually put off by the smell of the original fish sauce, I completely adore the well-mixed fish sauce, it goes so well with everything
Guest - Andres Clayton on Friday, 25 October 2019 21:38

the vietnamese pancakes go so well with fish sauce

the vietnamese pancakes go so well with fish sauce
Already Registered? Login Here
Sunday, 17 October 2021

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to



This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Private Ho Chi Minh Tours

private ho chi minh tours

All tours are private, customizable, and led by professional English-speaking guides. For more reference, read our customer reviews or see below for the tour package in Ho Chi Minh that works for you.

Half-day City Tour

Night Tour

Food Tour

Saigon's Other Side

Shore Excursions

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Adaptors

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Responsible Travel in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Holiday Dishes to Try during Tet Holiday

Chinese Dishes in Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Northern Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Central Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Southern Vietnam

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What to Eat in Hanoi

What to Eat in Hue

What to Eat in Hoi An

What to Eat in Da Lat

What to Eat in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing your Motorbikes on Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

How to Travel from Hanoi to Da Nang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Hue

How to Travel from Hanoi to Sa Pa

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

How to Travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island

How to Travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

How to Travel from Hue to Phong Nha

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Where to Stay in Moc Chau

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

Where to Stay in Lang Son

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Mu Cang Chai

Where to Stay in Kon Tum

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:


Ho Chi Minh Travel Guides

First Time in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City Districts

Local Activities in Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi Travel Guides

First Time in Hanoi

Hanoi Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink in Hanoi

Shopping in Hanoi

Hanoi Districts

Local Activities in Hanoi

North Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Ninh Binh

First Time in Ha Giang

First Time in Ha Long Bay

First Time in Sa Pa

First Time at Yen Tu Mountain

First Time in Moc Chau

First Time in Mai Chau

First Time in Hai Phong

First Time in Cao Bang

First Time in Lang Son

First Time at Bai Tu Long Bay

Central Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Hue

First Time in Hoi An

First Time in Da Nang

First Time in Nha Trang

First Time in Da Lat

First Time in Mui Ne

First Time in Buon Ma Thuot

First Time in Kon Tum

First Time in Phu Yen

South Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in the Mekong Delta

First Time at Con Dao Island

First Time in Vung Tau

First Time at Phu Quoc Island

First Time in Ca Mau

First Time in Can Tho

Powered by 12Go Asia system