Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar

Post
Born in OKC
Cheeseburger
Flagged as Spam (1)
2009/04/22 20:56:09
I have a jar of fish sauce with what is apparently a length of pickled fish in the liquid.  This product was packed in Bangkok, Thailand and I think it is for Vietnamese but perhaps it is for Thai or Chinese cuisine.
 
The label reads:
 
Fish Sauce
Huong Vi Que Huong
Mam Lac
 
and there is a note "Premium Quality" and the contents are listed as "fish, sugar, and salt."
 
How is this product to be used?
 
Is only the liquid used and as a fish sauce?
 
If the fish is used it eaten a garnish over rice or noodles or as part of a sauce?  Or diced into a soup?
 
Is this Viet?  Are there similar Thai and Chinese products?
 
What is the shelf life?
 
Can someone refer me to an internet discussion of this type of product or recipes?
 
Thanks!
brittneal
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/22 21:40:41

Always remember that fish sauce is not a sauce for fish but one made from it.  I would believe the fish is just a garnish but you never know with those crafty orientals!  Use in sauces for stir fries and as a seasoning.  Id compare it to the bottle of pickled peppers in veinegar on a southerntable.  Most dont eat the sport peppers but who knows
post edited by brittneal - 2009/04/23 12:52:30
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/22 21:46:01
brittneal

  I would believe the fish is just a garnish but you never know with those crafy orientals! 

 
 
What in the world do you mean by that statement?


WarToad
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 11:08:41
Having lived in Asia for years, and traveled extensively through SE Asia and Pacifica, I've never run into a bottle of fish sauce that actually still had a fish in it.  I would presume it's for flash and marketing purposes only.

If you have the courage and want to actually try it, I would suggest this.  Dry it off with a paper towel, give it a couple brushes of peanut oil, then grill it quickly on both sides over high heat.  Flake off the meat onto a bowl of rice. 

A safe assumption is it is going to be a mighty seasoned and flavorful explosion of fishiness.  Eating it scooped up with a mouthfull of rice will help tame that flavor and neutralize it a bit.
WarToad
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 11:17:50
FYI - Among the Asian community, "Oriental" is used in reference to antiques and rugs.  To use it as a reference for race or a person is akin to calling a black guy "Colored" or "Negro".  Not exactly a slur, but it is very dated, out of common use, and leaves people wondering if you simply don't know or you just made an odd nuanced comment.

Just a friendly heads up
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 12:11:16
http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/fishsauce1.html

...it is that salty, smelly brown liquid made from fish that is the single, most important flavoring ingredient in Thai cooking (also well-loved in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma and the Philippines). Used like salt in western cooking and soy sauce in Chinese cooking,......

......genuine fish sauce is the water, or juice, in the flesh of fish that is extracted in the process of prolonged salting and fermentation. It is made from small fish that would otherwise have little value for consumption.

..............the fish are rinsed and drained, then mixed with sea salt – two to three parts fish to one part salt by weight. They are then filled into large earthenware jars, lined on the bottom with a layer of salt, and topped with a layer of salt. A woven bamboo mat is placed over the fish and weighted down with heavy rocks to keep the fish from floating when water inside them are extracted out by the salt and fermentation process.
The jars are covered and left in a sunny location for nine months to a year. From time to time, they are uncovered to air out and to let the fish be exposed to direct, hot sunshine, which helps "digest" the fish and turn them into fluid. The periodic "sunning" produces a fish sauce of superior quality, giving it a fragrant aroma and a clear, reddish brown color.  ......


The fish in your jar would have had to have been added as it was not part of the process of making the fish sauce.  It would be eatable, but very salty.
brittneal
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 13:03:23
I had meant to say crafty. 
Main Entry: crafty Pronunciation: \ˈkraf-tē\ Function: adjective Inflected Form(s): craft·i·er; craft·i·est Date: before 12th century 1: skillful, clever2 a: adept in the use of subtlety and cunning b: marked by subtlety and guile <a crafty scheme> synonyms see sly

— craft·i·ly \ˈkraf-tə-lē\ adverb
— craft·i·ness \-tē-nəs\ noun
 
At some time I had heard the term Crafty Oriental used as a plaudit to compliment the genius of ot those of oriental(which can include Arabain and Indian peoples) in productivity and market sense
 
From Wiki...
The Orient is a term which simply means the "east". It originated in Western Asia to describe the parts of the world that were in the "far east" of their known world at the time. It is now used in English to describe Eastern Asia, and depending on nationality, in reference to certain Southeastern Asian minorities as well.
To describe a person as Oriental is sometimes, depending on region and dialect, considered to be impolite and politically incorrect[citation needed][dubiousdiscuss] by some in the United States and Canada; the term Asian is now widely used in place of the term Oriental. In the United States, Oriental refers to objects and material good such as rugs, teapots, and party mix. In the United Kingdom, however, the term Oriental carries no pejorative connotations and describes Eastern Asian people of Chinese/Japanese/Korean descent and some Southeastern Asian groups such as Vietnamese, wheras the term Asian generally describes people of Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani/Sri Lankan descent. (These latter people are called South Asians in the United States.)
 
Unknowingly my  my outdated comment could be construes as looking down my nose at an inferior which wasnt the intention.
 
Either my severe arthritis or a a bad keyboard cause some letters not to strike when pressed. No slur intended.  I had in no way thought the term oriental to encompass the entirety of the asian community would be offensive to anyone!
 Why is somebody always looking for some fault  to point out rather then accept the spirit in which it was posted?   I cant believe this one was flagged.  Who was offended?  Was it under the wrong topic?  What gives?
post edited by brittneal - 2009/04/23 18:18:20
Born in OKC
Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 14:57:33
WarToad - Thanks for the cooking tip and the note on usage.  Should any reader take offense please be advised I was (am) trying to find a one word locater for a product I know is used (with different names) from at least what we used to call Indo-China (and Thailand) east to the Philippines.  As I said, from the label, my jar was made / packaged  in Thailand but from the title apparently was intended for Viet Nam.  So far as your not having seen similar products in Asia I can only say it is not uncommon to see such in oriental markets in Atlanta.   I could probably find half a dozen different brands here.  Different forms of aquatic life also.

I would comment further that Chinese records indicate that fermented sauces were once made there from venison and perhaps bear meat.  I suppose that ended when game became less common with loss of habitat as more land was cultivated.  Today oyster sauce and an antecedent of catsup are about about the only ones left, at least in common usage.

edwmax - thank you for the note about the manufacture of fish sauce.  Had you quoted more of it we would have seen that the solid remains are eventually discarded after several reuses to make progressively lower grades of fish sauce. 

I would comment that the Japanese have a form of sushi
made from fermented preserved fish.  It is said to be an acquired taste.
brittneal - Thanks for the support and the WIKI lookup.  As I said before I had no intent of hurting anyones feelings.  I will talk to some Chinese friends about this matter.
brittneal
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 16:51:32
Some cultures just love to bury food.  Hence kim chee, 1000 year eggs and even a venomous serpent that was drowned in wine and buried for many years.  The take on that was it would be safe to drink after sufficient aging.  No resuts on that tho....
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/58285552@N00/sets/1364338/detail/
post edited by brittneal - 2009/04/23 16:57:51
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 17:07:27
Born in OKC

edwmax - thank you for the note about the manufacture of fish sauce.  Had you quoted more of it we would have seen that the solid remains are eventually discarded after several reuses to make progressively lower grades of fish sauce. 


Not a problem. But the complete article was in the link posted above.  I just didn't think it necessary to quote the entire thing.     You are right. The solid remains are completely digested into the sauce leaving the bones, scale and skin.  But for something that does taste good, it is just salted rotten fish.


brittneal
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 18:14:41

When I was stationed Biloxi, Mi, I became close friends with the family of Vince Sherry(The ms Judge that was murdered aroun 95)  He had numerous Friends he had made during his tours in SE Asis.  A number of them came to the states as refugees after that ilfated "war".  They would have regular feasts with some refugees who would make all kinds of delicacies.  That was my first brush with fish sauce.  The bottle was homade with no label and I was advised to go lite thinking it was a light soy sauce.  Hot and pungent was all i can say!
Born in OKC
Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/23 22:40:01
The first SE Asian style soup I ever had was in Reno , NV many years ago, in a restaurant located near the Sands Hotel Casino.  I think I was told it was Thai but it was much like the pho I was served later after the Vietnamese restaurant explosion.  

I don't think there was fish sauce on the table when I had that first bowl of soup.  Now I expect it in any Thai or Viet place and ask for it some if it is not there.

I generally get a dinky little container, about like the one for soy at a sushi bar, and sometimes have to ask for more. 
arianej
Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/24 15:50:34
brittneal
At some time I had heard the term Crafty Oriental used as a plaudit to compliment the genius of ot those of oriental(which can include Arabain and Indian peoples) in productivity and market sense
... 
 Why is somebody always looking for some fault  to point out rather then accept the spirit in which it was posted?


Maybe because "the spirit in which it was posted" sounds blatantly racist.  My jaw certainly dropped when I read it.  Very few people regard racial stereotypes as "compliments", and if you seriously think that Asians are complimented by being referred to as "crafty Orientals", then it's little wonder you find your posts faulted by others.  Here's a hint: It's not us, it's you.

Disclaimer: I happen to be one of those "crafty orientals", thanks very much.  All my life, I've had to deal with B.S. like this.  How disappointing to find such remarks on Roadfood.



Born in OKC, I've never seen fish sauce with a fish in it either, but agree with some of the other comments-- sounds like a bit of a marketing gimmick.  :)  Which isn't to say that it might not be a nice addition!  My parents occasionally enjoy eating strongly flavored smoked fish as an accompaniment to meals, and it does go a long way toward flavoring plain rice.  Think of it as a... relish, kind of.  Like salted egg or fermented tofu, where you'd only use a teensy bit at a time.  This is just a guess, however.

I imagine such a thing would have a very long shelf life, much like fish sauce itself.  Let us know how it works if you try it!



Born in OKC
Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/24 23:22:14
War Toad & arianej  - Thanks again and thanks for the comments about my jar of fish sauce.  I'm a little surprised that two people whose opinions seem well qualified don't recognize such a product.  I am sure I've seen similar items on the shelves of specialty grocers in Atlanta for several years.  I just never had any of it.
 
The jar I have now came to me as a novelty gift because I have a reputation for eating the exotic (and this doesn't seem very exotic if you want to know) but I am going to try it at some point.
 
I do hope that someone who is familiar with the product will respond.
Born in OKC
Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/26 08:23:09

There is a considerable internet literature about fermentation as a way to preserve food and fish is a sub-category of some importance.  Following are a few web sites.
The following is for  a technical two volume set with fermented fish cited in each volume.
http://www.chipsbooks.com/micferfd.htm
Another technical journal on fermented foods with Philippine applications for fish.
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309046858
Four fish sauces.
NB:  These technical books are all pretty pricey and not something I can buy for a casual inquiry like this one.
http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/29/1/106.pdf
TOP TEN EXTREME PERMENTED FOODS
This includes several type of fish but none from SE Asia.  The Japanese ferment at least five types of fish under the heading shiokara.   The article also  mentions natto which is a Japanese version of fermented soybeans.  I mentioned natto before.  Sometimes sushi is flavored with, or the fish is preserved in natto.  I tried that.  ONCE.  IMO it is not quite like California Roll but maybe I have a cultural bias!
http://www.attentionscan.com/2009/02/top-10-extreme-fermented-foods.html
Thai procedures for fermenting fish foots with modern improvements like fiberglas containers and new technology to shorten the processing time.  May be mostly for fish sauce.  Why do I think this might turnout like commercialized "country ham?"
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T7K-44GF1RP-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=cbdd33ff4bda4dda1a005cda5130b4cb
If you GOOGLE you get 237,000  hits for fermented foods / fermented fish.
 
edwmax
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/26 09:13:58
Born in OKC  ......I do hope that someone who is familiar with the product will respond.  ....


I have use it.   It is very strong flavored and salty.  Think of it was "flavored liquid salt".

In my travels (R&R) Bangkok & Soul, I never seen fish sauce on the table as a compliment like soy sauce. It is generally used and added while cooking to add salt & flavor to the food base flavors.  A small amount goes a long way.  So taste the food while you are building the flavors. You can easly throw it out (sauce base) and start over, if too much is added.

I suggest mixing a few drops with water and tasting it. Do the same with water, soy sauce, and fish sauce.  This will give you an idea of the flavor and the saltyness.
Born in OKC
Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/04/26 14:23:10
edwmax wrote:

In my travels (R&R) Bangkok & Soul, I never seen fish sauce on the table as a compliment like soy sauce.

There is in Atlanta an out of the way  Thai restaurant which had a great reputation when under the original owners.  It was regarded as having one of the top Thai kitchens in the state and a place to find some regional specialties.  They always had plain fish on the table and always put a tray of peppers, chili sauce, etc., on the table when the food was served.  Under apparently  different ownship today they have discontinued the specialties and you have to ask for the fish sauce and tray.  Still good food, but not nearly like it was.  They do have a big lunchtime trade with the airport (ATL) nearby.

Probably some Thai places hearabouts put out fish sauce but generally you have to ask.  I did that once in what is today perhaps the best regarded Thai place in Georgia  and the very celebrated chef came out and asked how long I had lived there to so appreciate fish sauce. 

I have never visited SE Asia.  I do know a little about fish sauce.  Probably have three bottles in my house at present, not counting the one with the fish.   Of course every Viet place I have ever been in, except one,  had fish sauce on the table for use in pho.  The one that did not only lasted about six weeks.
brittneal
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/05/01 03:02:25
Now I am angered by this.  I bent over backwards to explain what I had meant.  What in the world makes you think you were being refered to as "crafty"?  What have you done other than try to nit pick and belittle my words without taking the time to look at it in context!  Having spent more time than I cared to in SE Asia I am not a complete neophyte.
arianej
Cheeseburger
Re:Oriental Pickled Fish in a Jar 2009/05/05 02:22:50
brittneal

Now I am angered by this.  I bent over backwards to explain what I had meant.  What in the world makes you think you were being refered to as "crafty"?  What have you done other than try to nit pick and belittle my words without taking the time to look at it in context!  Having spent more time than I cared to in SE Asia I am not a complete neophyte.


I've seen the context and it's very clear, thanks:

brittneal

Always remember that fish sauce is not a sauce for fish but one made from it.  I would believe the fish is just a garnish but you never know with those crafty orientals!  Use in sauces for stir fries and as a seasoning.  Id compare it to the bottle of pickled peppers in veinegar on a southerntable.  Most dont eat the sport peppers but who knows


"You never know with those crafty orientals"?  Seriously? 

Yes, how horrible it must be for you that people keep "nitpicking" your posts by noticing your blatant racial stereotyping.  Why, it's as innocuous as saying "dumb Polacks" or "stingy Jews"!  I can't imagine why anyone is faulting you for your usage of such innocent terms.


Feel free to climb aboard the Clue Train any time now, brittneal.