Which Fish Sauce to buy? - Page 3
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Thanks OY. I'm prone to gout and that didn't occur to me. Read a recent study that claimed fish is more likely to cause a gout flare up than meat, (the opposite of what I thought). In the study, alcohol still held its place as the number one offender.
Saw some 5 Crabs while I was making the different rounds of the Asian grocers. Picked up a bottle for sampling.
Side by side, the labels read the same for nutrition and ingredients as with 3 Crabs. The color and clarity look the same as 3 Crabs. This is clean and complex tasting with a salty kick in the finish than 3 Crabs. The Red Boat I compared it too, which is nearing the end of the bottle, 4 or 5 months old, has more "funk" to it, which I suppose is the thing French Fries objects to as fish sauce ages, but was still quite good too. This fresher 5 crabs is probably better than the funky Red Boat, except the heavy sodium, which I can tell the difference with where I cook with a sodium restriction. I should get a fresh red boat to compare against while it's still at its peak.
I'd say this is along the lines the of the IHA, better than the Megachef, but it comes with a high sodium count.
It's a good time to be buying Fish Sauce in Salt Lake City. Found the 9999 brand today, and with other bottles of fresh fish sauce on hand, it was time to do some more side by side tasting.
9999 is very balanced tasted straight. Usually fish sauce tilts fishy, or savory punchy or salty or something, except for Megachef. Surprisingly so since it has higher sodium count, 1679 mg/tablespoon. It doesn't taste as salty as Red Boat which is lower sodium nor as salty as the 5 Crabs which is just a little higher at 1800 mg. But, 9999 may be classified as a bit of a cheater. They use an artificial sweetener, Acesulfame K (potassium). And some protein flavor boosters, Disodium 5 in two different forms.
The 5 crabs has a strong salty kick at the end and the Red Boat is more fish forward. I suppose that reflects the protein content. 9999 has 3 grams/tablespoon and the Red Boat 4.
In nuoc cham, my default ratios reward Red Boat. Which isn't surprising as that's what I've been using for a while. The 9999 needs a little bit more of itself to balance the lime and other flavors. The 5 crabs could be reduced a bit, perhaps, but that might just be my sodium sensitivity showing through. These are all good in slightly different ways. I think my preference is still to Red Boat, but I would happily use 9999. The 5 crabs is saltier than I really like but not bad by any means. And that reflects my lower sodium cooking more than anything.
Lastly there was a small bottle of Red Boat Phamily Reserve at 16.00 for about 7 oz on the shelf. This is a 50 N sauce. I was tempted to buy it, but I already have a lot of opened fish sauce on hand I need to use up. one of these days I'll give that a shot.
5 Crabs I probably wouldn't buy again. I like more nuance and less sodium. 9999 is probably just below IHA in my personal ranking, and ahead of Megachef, but still trail Red Boat.
The real reason I buy Golden Boy Brand?
Its got Lord Voldemorts' baby photo on every bottle.