For a while now, we have been using any fish sauce the local supermarket or asian grocery store has to offer. With no particular favourite, we were curious as to which one my aunt who’s been living here in Melbourne for a number of years now uses.
The answer from my aunt was to try the fish sauce produced under Three Crabs brand.
The company that produces it, along with other fish sauce brands (including One crab, Two crabs, Five crabs and Flying Lion) is Viet Huong, based in San Francisco, CA. They operate plants in Vietnam and Thailand where their products are produced, and the final bottles are blended in Hong Kong.
That being said, without this background knowledge, trying to find our fish sauce and work out which was which was confusing. We had some difficulty finding the particular brand (Three Crabs) we were looking for. Instead, we found its similar looking sister brands.
Cue double and triple checking about the number of crabs on the bottle, trying to work out if it really made a big difference, and asking ourselves if it might be possible to combine the two to create three crabs (apparently I have been advised that it doesn’t).
In the end, we managed to get our hands on a bottle at Mind Phat Asian Supermarket, in Richmond (2-8 Nicholson St., Abbotsford VIC 3067). It can also be found online at Amazon.
It probably makes only a small difference in the overall dish, so if you only infrequently cook dishes requiring fish sauce, other brands will probably do the job. However, if you find yourself frequently using it, it may be a worthwhile cooking investment. Especially as a bottle of fish sauce like this, used at a regular rate is likely to last quite a long time.