… Cuong Pham, the owner of Red Boat Fish Sauce, who personally answered an e-mail query I sent to the company’s website when I wasn’t able to place an order. I’m so very impressed.

Some time next year, Red Boat Fish Sauce plans to offer tours of their factory. I’ll be on a plane to Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam when that happens.

And here’s the thing: If you think there couldn’t possibly be a big difference between the average bottle of fish sauce you can grab at your favorite Asian grocery store and the nước mắm nhi made by Cuong Pham, I invite you to do your own taste test. If you aren’t brave enough to sample it directly, make a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce. Here’s a good recipe:

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

3 tablespoon Red Boat 40°N Fish Sauce

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 plump clove garlic, peeled, halved, green germ removed, and minced

1 fresh red bird’s eye chile, minced

In a small jar with a lid, combine all the ingredients. Cover and shake

well to dissolve the sugar. Taste for seasoning. (Store in an airtight

container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Makes 3/4 cup

There’s something fishy about this posting, and it’s a good thing. So sayeth the StickMonkey.

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