Fish sauce: much more than just a condiment
In Việt Nam, fish sauce is used widely – as a seasoning, a dipping sauce, in humble daily meals and at fancy parties. Nước mắm is said to help distinguish Vietnamese food from that of its neighbours. Fish sauce comprises two elements – fish and salt, the two gifts of the sea. To make it, alternating layers of fish and salt are placed in a wooden vat for six months to a year to ferment. The amber-colored liquid of the fermentation process seeps down and is drained.