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Old 09-24-2005, 09:56 PM   #1
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Life of Fish Sauce

Some things like brandy, balsamic vinegar and worcestershire sauce never go bad - they just get better with age. Since it's salted and fermented ... I was wondering if the same wouldn't also be true with fish sauce?

I've got a bottle I had forgotten about that I bought the last time my son and I went to the Asian market together ... circa 1992? There is no funky stuff floating in it (what could live in that stuff?) and it smells devine!

Anyone with experience with Asian ingredients like fish/shrimp sauce think it's okay to use?

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Old 09-24-2005, 10:03 PM   #2
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I have a bottle of Squid brand fish sauce that has an expiration date on it and a bottle of Three Crabs fish sauce that doesn't. Flip a coin.
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Old 09-24-2005, 10:41 PM   #3
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I say it's still good.
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:05 PM   #4
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But fish sauce costs less than $2.

I'd toss anything that old.
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:19 PM   #5
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No idea if it is still good, but I wouldnt risk getting ill from it, especially since it's from 1992 :)
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:25 PM   #6
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I'd still use it, just because I don't like to waste if it's not bad, which I doubt it is.
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:30 PM   #7
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If it doesn't have an expiration date, chances are it isn't going bad anytime soon. Of course, things that are over a decade old might break that rule. You could always taste it...
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:47 AM   #8
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I would taste it. If it tastes OK then I would use it. I would think something like fish sauce would last through all sorts of things like nuclear wars and such
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:53 AM   #9
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Toss it Michael.Your right that something that is salted and fermented willl last for some time,but not all fish sauces are created equal.Because natural fish sauce requires time to make and very fresh, good quality fish, substantial investment is necessary for large-scale production. This has resulted in the proliferation of a number of less-than-pure products. Some are made by the process of hydrolysis in which some kind of enzyme or acid is added to hasten fermentation, while others are made by diluting natural or hydrolyzed fish sauce with salt water flavored and colored with sugar, caramel, monosodium glutamate (m.s.g.), by-products from the production of m.s.g., saccharin, and other natural or artificial flavorings and coloring.For example three crabs brand according to the label, hydrolyzed wheat protein and fructose are among the ingredients both are additives that have not been adequately time-tested for their potential long-term effects on health.And it's made in Hong Kong not Thailand,where it says it's a product of.

Look for fish sauce with a clear, reddish brown color, like the color of good whisky or sherry, without any sediments. If the color is a dark or muddy brown, the sauce is likely to be either a lower grade, or one that is not properly or naturally fermented. It may also have been sitting on the shelf a bit too long.

My recomendation is golden boy.

EDIT:Just want to add that grade "A" fish sauce in North America is pretty much non existant,and if anyone has a source I would appreciate it.

It takes 18 months of fermentation to make a really good fish sauce and the good stuff is generally added to lower quality sauce to improve the flavour,so the grade "A" is like gold.

Probably more information than anyone wanted to know,but there it is,I just can't help myself.
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I would taste it. If it tastes OK then I would use it. I would think something like fish sauce would last through all sorts of things like nuclear wars and such

But it's fish sauce! It's supposed to taste bad!
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
But it's fish sauce! It's supposed to taste bad!
LOL
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Old 09-27-2005, 10:43 AM   #12
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Jenny, that's what I was thinking too. I would imagine that unless you have been using fish sauce all your life, then you won't know if it's bad or not.


Has anyone ever tried fish sauce & sugar w/ granny smith apples? (use the sauce/sugar and dip apple wedges) We used to eat that ask kids for an after school snack, MAN, is it good. Though imagine it may be too strong for most.
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I would taste it. If it tastes OK then I would use it. I would think something like fish sauce would last through all sorts of things like nuclear wars and such
But does solitary fish sauce ever actually taste oK???
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:26 PM   #14
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Well, I looked at the label again ... it was actually "Fish sauce - Shrimp formula" ... made like fish sauce but from shrimp extract (70%), salt (28%), sugar (2%). And, it was from Thailand - I was even able to find a reference to the company on the internet.

I tried some on some noodles and it tasted just great! My son and DIL found out I had it and .. well ... they have it now.

Robb969 - seems you live in my area - I got it from the Asian market on Belknap over there in Haltom City.
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:22 PM   #15
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Does anyone here ever use fish sauce only as a dipping sauce? If you have the Vietnamese sour gumbo type soup, we use straight fish sauce to dip the fish. yum yum yum.
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:35 PM   #16
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I use it as an ingredient for the most part.
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Old 10-12-2005, 04:54 PM   #17
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I'm quite partial to the flavour of a good fish sauce by itself.

But mostly as an ingredient to red/green/panang and mussaman curries and that fantastic Thai concoction nuoc cham.
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Old 10-12-2005, 09:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Well, I looked at the label again ... it was actually "Fish sauce - Shrimp formula" ... made like fish sauce but from shrimp extract (70%), salt (28%), sugar (2%). And, it was from Thailand - I was even able to find a reference to the company on the internet.

I tried some on some noodles and it tasted just great! My son and DIL found out I had it and .. well ... they have it now.

Robb969 - seems you live in my area - I got it from the Asian market on Belknap over there in Haltom City.
The big one (Used to be Winn Dixie) Or the little one in Vietnam Square? I live over on Hulen, and eat Viet at least twice a month... Sometimes a lot more :)
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Old 10-12-2005, 11:34 PM   #19
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Michael The Sauce (Shrimp cira 1991) That I have here is still good. Or at least I am not dead yet..It does stain the glass and leave a little sediment but as "fish" sauces go, most foam out of the top and down the sides with a thick mass inside floating ontop. Thats the fresh stuff..Or at least here in little Veit Nam (Haltom city, TX)
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:43 AM   #20
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I have some fish sauce with bird chilis in it (like in the condiment tray at the restaurant) that I use sort of straight up.

Me loves fish sauce!

Speaking of dipping, we eat banana peppers from the garden dipped in Korean kojujang
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