Sun, 28th May 2023 14:40 (GMT +7)

Fish sauce made from extremely expensive ingredients

Wednesday, 14/09/2022 | 11:03:59 [GMT +7] A  A

As a unique combination of different seafoods, peanut worm fish sauce has become the key condiment of Van Don island district as well as Quang Ninh province.

Peanut worms are a variety of molluscs, inhabiting along coastal sandy beaches where the tide ebbs and flows. The Directorate of Fisheries regards Van Don peanut worms as the most delicious and high quality peanut worms in Vietnam.

Ms. Cao Hong Van introducing peanut worm fish sauce to tourists. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

For generations, fish sauce made from fish has become an indispensable condiment in the Vietnamese family meals. There is a special type of fish sauce in Van Don, Quang Ninh, which has become a specialty of the region: the peanut worm fish sauce.

Peanut worm fish sauce is a new product based on the creativity and unique combination of available ingredients in the Bai Tu Long Bay. The indispensable ingredient that makes up the quintessence of this fish sauce is the delicious fresh peanut worm that is caught and preliminarily processed locally.

Fish and peanut worms are combined following a specific proportion; the ingredients are then salted and undergo an entirely natural drying and soaking process according to the local traditional method.

As one of the prestigious suppliers specializing in manufacturing and supplying to the market key products of Quang Ninh waters, Vanbest seafood processing facility located in Van Don district has focused on investments in the production of peanut worm fish sauce according to the local traditional method.

Vanbest's bottled fish sauce has been exported to 16 countries around the world. Photo: Cuong Vu.

The company aims to bring a quality product to consumers, so that they can easily feel the distinctive aroma and taste with every bite: the sweetness of peanut worm, the salty taste of ocean fish. In order to produce one liter of high quality peanut worm fish sauce, the processing stage is sophisticated and extensive.

Ms. Cao Hong Van - General Director of Vanbest traditional fish sauce company said that the company's product line, most notably the peanut worm fish sauce, is a unique combination of the quintessence of traditional methods and modern technology.

Through market research and surveying consumers' tastes, Vanbest company has built a factory with modern equipment to ensure strict standards of product quality and establish a strong brand of peanut worm fish sauce as it is known today.

The detailed processing procedure is described as follows: the fish sauce is placed in large stainless steel tanks, arranged in rows along the hillside. "Using earth jars to produce fish sauce the traditional way has its limitations. When fermenting fish sauce in earth jars, the process of air exchange with the outside environment can still occur because the jars are not carefully sealed, this consequently creates aerobic bacteria which heavily affects product quality", explained Ms. Van.

The organized stainless steel sinks are a modern model of making fish sauce. The stainless steel tanks keep the fish sauce distilled in a closed environment, unaffected by air and rainwater. The stainless steel can absorb heat better compared to earth jars; and storage in a sunny location helps to create a fragrant fish sauce that is not too pungent.

The stainless steel material replacing the earth jar helps to ensure hygiene and improve the quality of fish sauce. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

“Despite the modern technology application, if you want the fish sauce to be delicious and flavorful, you still have to follow the traditional method of mixing, drying in the sun, and most importantly, allow the fish sauce to have a natural flavor. Raw materials for this fish sauce mainly include fresh anchovies, mackerels, shrimps along with an appropriate amount of fresh peanut worm mixed with sea salt, fermented naturally for 12 months to 3 years. The process of fermenting fish paste through four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter can fully converge on all aspects of the weather", said Ms. Van.

The deliciousness of this famous Van Don fish sauce lies in its protein content and sweet taste. After fermentation, a proportion of the peanut worms is also roasted, crushed, soaked with fish sauce and then subject to a process of coarse filtration and fine filtration. Thanks to such a complicated process, peanut worm fish sauce not only has a delicious aroma but also a distinctive protein content compared to other sea fish sauce.

The final peanut worm fish sauce product will have a yellow color with no residue and a consistency similar to that of honey. When opening the fish sauce bottle, consumers can immediately feel the unique aroma of peanut worm fish sauce.

Sun-dried peanut worm is considered a premium specialty on the market. The price of dried peanut worm can reach up to nearly 10 million VND for a kilogram so Van Don peanut worms are considered to be extremely expensive. Peanut worm fish sauce is highly diversed, but the most delicious with a high protein content is priced at around 1 million VND for a liter.

All products are manufactured under modern production lines, poured in carefully sealed bottles, and all products are rigorously tested before being shipped to the market. Van Don Vanbest fish sauce brand has been tested by food safety and hygiene management agencies with international ISO standards such as ISO 22000, ISO 14000; SA 8000; HACCP based on hazard analysis for human health.

Vanbest's bottled peanut worm fish sauce is currently exported to 16 countries around the world including the US, UK, France, Canada, Germany, Russia, Japan, Korea among many other markets. In the future, Vanbest company will continue to build the brand and become one of the prestigious company both domestically and international in the production and processing of key seafood products from Quang Ninh province as well as other regions of the country.

Source: Vietnam Agriculture