1. Homepage
  3. Gluten Free Fish Sauce

January 26, 2016

Gluten Free Fish Sauce

Post by Cinde Little

Two different brands of gluten free fish sauce
Two bottles of gluten free fish sauce -photo credit Jim Little

Gluten free fish sauce is commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. It is the secret ingredient that may intimidate home cooks but is essential to recreate the recipes you are familiar with from these countries. It is readily available in Asian supermarkets as well as grocery stores with a large Asian section.

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase using these links your cost is the same, but I receive a few cents for every dollar spent. I appreciate your support for this website.

If you have eaten Vietnamese or Thai food you have probably tasted fish sauce. Called nuoc mam in Vietnamese and nam pla in Thai, fish sauce is a complex flavour ingredient used in almost every dish much like soy sauce is used in Chinese cooking. It is a salty, pungent sauce derived from fermented tiny anchovies and smells like it. It is naturally gluten free.

Buying Fish Sauce

The two brands shown in the photo here are Squid brand and Golden Boy, the ones I see at the Asian grocery store. One of my favourite cookbook authors, Hugh Carpenter, recommended Squid brand fish sauce when I first started cooking Asian food and I have been cooking with it ever since.

More recently Golden Boy brand came out with the small 200ml bottle of gluten free fish sauce. Although I don’t use Golden Boy brand I know that small bottle will appeal to some cooks. The large 725ml bottle of Squid brand fish sauce may seem like a big commitment to some but that is the bottle I buy.

Whatever brand you buy fish sauce should be naturally gluten free but always check the label. Once opened it lasts indefinitely at room temperature.

Fish Sauce – The Recipes

Here are some of my favourite recipes that use fish sauce:

Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce

Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.
Vietnamese Salad Rolls -photo credit Jim Little

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai topped with cilantro, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.
Shrimp Pad Thai -photo credit Jim Little

Vietnamese Pork in Tomato Sauce

Gluten Free Vietnamese Pork in Tomato Sauce
Vietnamese Pork in Tomato Sauce -photo credit Jim Little

Thai Spicy Shrimp Soup

A bowl of homemade Thai Spicy Shrimp Soup.
Thai Spicy Shrimp Soup -photo credit Jim Little

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup -photo credit Jim Little

If you are looking for a vegan option I posted a recipe for a vegan fish sauce substitute. I used it for many Thai recipes for a cooking class and we were all impressed with every dish.

A jar of a Vegan Fish Sauce Substitute
Vegan Fish Sauce Substitute -photo credit Jim Little

If you have a fish sauce story I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.



Join our community and see what’s cookin’ in my kitchen each week. Download the free ebook if you need some ideas for more everyday cooking at home.