Where to Purchase Good Fish Sauce aka “Nuoc Mam”

According to Wikipedia web site, fish sauce is an amber-colored liquid extracted from the fermentation of fish with sea salt. According the Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, traditional nutritionists and authors of “Nourishing Tradition”, fermented foods ease our digestion because they contain good bacteria. This is one of many reasons why you see many Kimchi dishes are served with bar-b-que dishes at a Korean restaurant. They are wonderful complements to many bar-b-que Korean meat dishes. Plus, anchovies also contain a good source of Omega-3, a wonderful fat for our brain and heart.

Fish sauce is basically fermented anchovy with salt and sometimes water. Fish sauce is used in many Vietnamese dishes from a main dish Grilled Lemongrass Chicken (Ga Nuong Xa) to a popular Southern Vietnamese dish Grilled Chicken and Egg rolls served with Vermicelli (Bun Thit Ga Nuong voi Cha Gio ) or an appetizer Southern Vietnamese crepe (Banh Xeo). There are two different types of Vietnamese fish sauce. The most popular one that serves at a Vietnamese restaurant is filtered fish sauce, “nuoc mam”. The other type is unfiltered fish sauce “mam nem”–a wonderful Vietnamese delicacy.

There are several different brands of fish sauce at many Asian grocery stores. However, I usually prefer not to purchase them at these stores because they contain preservatives such as MSG, fructose corn syrup, and sugar. Remember to read the label. A good bottle of fish sauce must contain no more than two ingredients: anchovy and salt.

I purchase mine from a Korean grocery store, “Kukje” in Daly City, California. I checked at Ranch99 and many other different Vietnamese, Chinese, and other Asian grocery stores, but I haven’t found one that is preservative-free. Here are the two brands that I have bought from Kukje Market:

  • Rhees Bros. Inc. or Korean Farm, Inc.
  • Hai Tai America, Inc.

I recently found a very good fish sauce brand, The Red Boat. I bought mine at Berkeley Bowl. This is the cream of the crop; it is what we called “Mam Nhi” in Vietnamese. The two web sites below also carry fish sauce if you can’t find at your local grocery:


I love to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments, please post it below. Thank you.

Red Boat Fish Sauce
Courtesy of Red Boat Fish Sauce

How to Cook Brown Rice Noodles

Since I listed where to purchase brown rice noodles, I would like to list instructions in how to cook the brown noodles.


  • Fill up the pot with filtered water preferably
  • Turn the stove to at least six or a middle mark for an electric stove
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil
  • Place the desired noodles into the pot
  • Then, turn it down to medium or low medium for eight minutes.
  • Be sure to leave the lid open.
  • Remember stir the noodles so they won’t clump together.
  • Add a teaspoon of cooking oil (e.g., grape seed oil, coconut or canola oil)
  • After eight minutes, turn off the stove.
  • Put the lid back on, set the timer for two minutes.
  • After two minutes, open the lid and drain the water.
  • Rinse the noodles with cold water.
  • The noodles are ready to serve after a few minutes.

If you desire your noodles to be al dente, remember to reduce the boiling time to six or seven minutes. It also depends on the type of stove you have. I base my cooking on my electric stove. If you have a gas stove, you may not need to boil as long as my instructions. Bon Appetit!

Where to Purchase Brown Rice Noodles

Brown rice noodles are great alternative to jasmine brown rice for those who enjoy eating dishes like “bun” or “goi cuon”. If you are gluten intolerance, brown rice noodles are a wonderful alternative to wheat pasta.  I generally prefer Trader Joe’s brand brown rice noodles since the price is reasonable and tastes just as good as any major brand. My second choice is Tinkyada.  For those city dwellers, here are stores below where you can pick up organic brown rice noodles.

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Whole Foods
  • Berkeley Bowl

If you don’t live in a city or your local favorite stores don’t carry brown rice noodles, fear not!  Below are two good sites that you can pick them up:

Feel free to leave me any comments and questions.

How to Cook Jasmine Brown Rice Without a Rice Cooker

Rice is the main diet of 50 percent of the population.  Jasmine brown rice, a type of long grain rice, has beautiful aromatic fragrance like pandan leaves.  Its texture is starchy and not as sticky as short grain rice.  Jasmine brown rice is originally from Thailand. Brown rice offers a lot more benefits; it reduces your risk of having diabetes, heart disease and cancer according to a study done by Harvard School of Public Health.

  • 2 cups* of Jasmine brown rice
  • 4- 5 cups* of filtered water

Ideally, brown rice should be presoaked about 3-4 hours before.  If the rice is not presoaked, use 2 1/2  cups of water for 1 cup of rice. For presoaked brown rice, use 2 1/4 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.


  1. Put the measured rice and water in the pot.
  2. Turn the stove on to medium to medium high.  If you have electric stove, turn it on between six and seven for about 20-25 minutes and leave the pot uncovered.
  3. As the water reaches about 1/4-1/2 left, turn the stove down to low between 2 and 3 for 25-30 minutes. it all depends on how soft you like the rice.
  4. Put the lid on after you adjust the stove.
  5. Turn off the stove and leave it on the stove for 5 minutes.
  6. It is now ready to serve. Bon Appetit!

If you prefer crunchier rice, shorten step #3 to 6 for about 5-10 minutes.  Short grain rice can be cooked with the same method except with less water.

*I usually use the rice cup that came with the rice cooker.  You can use the same proportion with a regular measuring cup.

Jasmine Brown Rice
Brown Rice Plate