Authentic fish sauce takes anywhere from 6 to 12 months to prepare.
Production entails an exacting fermentation process accompanied
by an unbearable stench. The bottled fish sauce can be purchased
at Asian markets, however it is not ready-to-serve. The product
forms the base for various Vietnamese sauces, depending on the
kinds of seasonings and aromatics that are added. Eric and Sophie
prefer Viet Huong/Three Crabs brand sauce.
For blood orange sauce:
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Let sit a while to intensify
the flavor blending.
This sauce is considered typical of Northern Vietnamese cuisine.
It can be altered to reflect Southern Vietnamese tastes with the
addition of green onion sauce (recipe follows). Another variation
is to add thinly sliced sautéed shallots and the Vietnamese
herbs Ngo gai and Ngo om. The resulting sauce is excellent served
over grilled items like eggplant, squid and shrimp.
Green Onion Sauce:
Finely chop only the green part of the scallion. Heat oil in a
small pan until nearly smoking. Place chopped scallions in a small
deep bowl and pour the hot oil over them. Use caution as oil will
pop and spatter. Add a pinch of kosher salt after the oil has
For a variation on this sauce, add an equal amount of finely
chopped green onions and finely chopped fresh ginger. The resulting
sauce can be used on grilled fish or chicken.