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For fish sauce aficionados who are looking for the next level of umami, Red Boat's Mắm Nêm will bring bold flavor in the smallest quantities. Made only from wild-caught black anchovies and sea salt, it is fish sauce aged for 12 months that hasn't undergone any pressing or filtration, resulting in an even more pungent and concentrated product. All of the flavor comes from the natural aging process, not added sugar as is the case with most commercial fish sauces We like how it contributes the same saltiness as anchovies but with a more savory, complex flavor. It's similar to garum, the Italian fish sauce that originated from the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Silicon Valley engineer Cuong Pham started his company in 2011 as an effort to recreate the bold flavors and intense aromas of his native Vietnam and make them available to home cooks in the States. With a commitment to transparency and sustainability, Red Boat has revitalized the fish sauce industry on Phú Quốc, once famous for its traditional fishing communities and fish sauce factories.
Use Mắm Nêm in small amounts as a substitute for anchovies, especially in recipes that call for mincing and melting down anchovies in sauce—try it for our Venetian-inspired Pasta with Golden Onions and Breadcrumbs or Pasta with Seared Cauliflower and Garlic. You can also use it to make a Caesar dressing or in Bagna Cauda with Charred Broccoli, a dip from the Piedmont region of Italy that is as good on the bittersweet broccoli as pulled out of the recipe and served with raw vegetables or smeared on crusty bread.
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