Learning how to make Phu Quoc fish sauce 

All Vietnam Tours

Car rentals

Charter- Boat Rental

Visa services

Learning how to make Phu Quoc fish sauce

The Phu Quoc brand of nuoc mam (fish sauce) is well known not only from North to South in Vietnam but also around the world, thanks to its delicious taste.


Phu Quoc Island - Vietnam

Many people want to try the taste of Phu Quoc fish sauce and some are interested in visiting the houses where it is manufactured, to better understand why it is so delicious. Most travel firms, hotels and resorts in Phu Quoc include this activity in their tours.

There are hundreds of firms manufacturing nuoc mam on Phu Quoc Island, from households to big companies, all with their own specific secrets.

However, they all have one thing in common in creating Phu Quoc fish sauce. Nguyen Van Lam, an employee of Phu Quoc-Sasco Co. who specializes in manufacturing nuoc mam for local sale and export, said that most of fish sauce originating in Phu Quoc is made from ca com (anchovy).

The anchovies are mixed with salt with the rate 7:3, meaning that each 10-ton barrel needs seven tons of anchovies and three tons of salt. This rate is to ensure the delicious taste of nuoc mam, said Lam.

The anchovies are then transported straight from the fishing boats into wooden vats where they are arranged in layers.  The top layer is covered by bamboo grates with rocks on them to press the fish and contain them in the liquid that oozes from the mixture.

The use of wooden vats tied with ropes is imperative for the fish sauce to have a healthily, natural flavor and color, and the fish must be absolutely fresh; dead fish would produce a horrible smell that would ruin the nuoc mam.

Fish sauce Vat

The waters around Phu Quoc Island retain the large number of algae and plankton as food for the anchovies. Therefore, there is a huge resource of anchovies here. The anchovy has also about a dozen of categories, yet only Soc Tieu, Com Do and Com Than anchovies provide fish sauce with the highest quality. Most of factories making fish sauce also maintain wooden vats. These kinds of wood are made from big trees cut from Phu Quoc forest. The height of vat each is about 2m to 4m with 1.5m to 3m in diameter depending on the size of vat. Each crate is tied with 6 to 8 straps upon the size each as well. Each vat can store from 7 to 13 tons of fish marinated. The expiring date can up to 60 years. The wooden making the vats must Litsea glutinosa (also known as brown beech) only found at Phu Quoc forest. 

fish sauce barrels

Fish sauce barrels- Phu Quoc Island

Fishing is a major business on this island, most family have fishing boats

After a period of fermentation, a valve at the bottom of the vat is opened for the liquid to flow. The first issuance of the liquid is called nuoc mam nhi. This is the tastiest and most expensive sauce. It is very pure and has the reddish brown color of whisky.

It takes from ten months to one year for the concoction to give off its juice.

Phu Quoc fish sauce produced by large companies is exported to France, the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Phu Quoc Island

Going to Phu Quoc, beside the beauty of the sea, the fish sauce factories are also strange attractions. Phu Quoc fish sauce is divided into many kinds by name of fish or processing such as mackerel fish sauce, atrial fish sauce... Yet the best one must mention as Phu Quoc anchovy fish sauce. Since the island of Phu Quoc was founded and was home to thousands of people coming from all over the country, they started making fish sauce in wooden vats with anchovies fished from the sea. From the fish and particles of salt, Vietnamese fishing village artisans have created the unique spices that it can be hardly found anywhere else over the world. It is not too exaggerative to say that the fish sauce is "mysterious spice" of culinary, which creates the difference of Vietnamese cuisine compared to other countries. The journey of exploring Phu Quoc travel will certainly become much more memorable when tourists set foot on Phu Quoc fish sauce factories.

Please to click "Phu Quoc Island Tours" to see more pictures of Phu Quoc - Vietnam!

Other news:  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    - An Thoi Islands
    - Phu Quoc Prison
Thanks for visiting our website and hope you would like the information, if you have any question, please don’t hesitate to write us, we are here to help!
With appreciation for your: