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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Red Boat Fish Sauce + Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Becca Crawford

To my knowledge (and please correct me if I am wrong!!) there is no fish sauce in Australia that doesn't contain sugar (or MSG and preservatives) other than Red Boat fish sauce. When I looked into this product a few months back after researching what is on the market, I was super impressed.

It only contains 2 clean ingredients:

·      Fermented anchovies; plus
·      sea salt.

Nothing else.

It is made using a unique 200 year old artisanal process. The anchovies are caught locally (from the crystal clear waters off the Phu Quoc island archipelago) and salted immediately. They are then transferred to traditional wooden barrels and weight of the anchovies in the barrels produces the sauce at the end of the 12+ month fermentation period. Authentic to a tee, Red Boat has become a national treasure of Vietnam.


Check out this YouTube clip on how they make it:

Anchovies are high in B vitamins and minerals and are a great source of protein. This sauce tastes awesome too, very strong and pungent - a little goes a long way!

The only problem is that no one sells it in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. So to put an end to that problem I've started buying it from the distributor and selling it from my workshop in Waverley at $12.50/500ml. We are open 8am till late daily. It has a very long shelf life (a couple of years) and makes ordinary dishes taste extraordinary with an Asian twist. 

So the bottom line is to be super careful to scrutinize the ingredients of your condiments. When I do pantry raids at clients’ homes, I find that the condiments in their fridge door and pantry are what lets many people down even those who have converted to a largely clean, unprocessed, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet. Condiments are often neglected as not being important but let me tell you that most commercially mass-produced condiments, dips, dressings and sauces are a storehouse of artificial ingredients and/or sugar in its many guises. 

I'd like to share my Vietnamese Pho soup recipe that uses Red Boat fish sauce. This is always a crowd pleaser at dinner parties and at my recent bone broth workshops. I like to ask people to assemble their own Pho in their bowls with a few basic instructions. They love doing that. There's something about using your hands that people (especially kids) really love. Traditionally made with beef broth, Pho is a light and fragrant soup. The Asian flavours are so aromatic that it is sure to please even the fussiest eaters (even kids!). And it only takes a few minutes to make.

Vietnamese Pho soup

Ingredients:

1 cup home-made salted beef broth/stock
200g of very thinly sliced raw beef sirloin, rump or eye fillet
dried or fresh rice stick noodles (optional)
½ tablespoon (2 tsp) Red Boat fish sauce
handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
handful of Thai basil
handful of Vietnamese mint
handful of bean sprouts
handful of spring onions, thinly sliced
a few thin slices of red onion
a few very thin slices of red capsicum
chilli flakes or thinly sliced fresh chilli (to taste)
½ lime, cut in half 

Directions:

1. To make slicing the meat easier, place in freezer for a couple of hours.

2. Cook noodles according to packet instructions then add to bowl. Top with sliced raw beef.

3. Heat stock in small saucepan until hot. Turn off heat. Add fish sauce and the juice of ¼ segment of lime and stir through.

4. Pour hot broth into the bowl (the heat will gently cook the raw meat).  Add the rest of the ingredients. Add the remaining ¼ segment of lime into side of the bowl.  

Serves 1


 Have you ever tried Red Boat fish sauce before? What did you think?  

Note that I do not get paid by any company to promote their products. I promote products that I love and personally consume.