What is fish sauce?

A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp; in Thailand it is usually made from fermented fish. Although not overly fishy in flavour, fish sauce has a distinctly pungent smell and strong salty flavour.


Thai fish sauce is widely available in Asian shops and supermarkets but Vietnamese fish sauce can be more difficult to find.

Choose the best

The colour ranges from light to very dark, but generally lighter-coloured sauces are regarded as better quality.

Store it

Keep fish sauce in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Don't ever use it after the expiry date.

Cook it

Make a dipping sauce by blending fish sauce with finely chopped garlic, fresh chillies, sugar and lime juice.


Try soy sauce or shrimp paste.