Red Boat fish sauce

A Vietnamese food brand has launched the first Phú Quốc fish sauce in the UK - two years after the product received Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status in the EU.

The sauce, which must be produced on Vietnam’s largest island Phú Quốc, became the first product from a southeast Asian country to receive PDO status in 2013.

Red Boat Fish Sauce was created by founder Cuong Pham and launched in the USA in 2006. It has since received widespread media coverage and become popular with American food bloggers. The sauce, which is made from only cá com (black anchovy) and salt, is available in a 500ml bottle (rsp: £16). Other products are in development, including a fish salt - the dehydrated version of the sauce.

“After leaving my homeland and coming to the US I began cooking more frequently but to my disappointment the nước mắm nhi (fish sauce) I found in Asian markets tasted flat or harsh,” said Cuong Pham. “Nothing seemed to have the sweet rich flavor of the nước mắm nhi my family enjoyed in Vietnam.

“My uncles had often talked about the source of the best fish sauce, the beautiful tropical Island of Phú Quốc. In 2006, I expanded a small family owned factory on the island - the result is Red Boat Fish Sauce.”