Who: Vu Thi Hoa and Vu Van Hai
What: Fish sauce
Where: Sa Chau, Vietnam
Vu Van Hai makes fish sauce in the yard of his house. Urns of finished sauce line up next to vats of aging fish, baskets for straining the liquid out of the fish, and ceramic bowls for separating out the good stuff. When it comes to fish sauce, it doesn’t get any more authentic than this.
Mr. Hai’s setup is common in Sa Chau, Vietnam. The small coastal town has a deep history of making fish sauce. I talked to the experts in Sa Chau to find out how they make their sauce, from fish to bottle, and all the mysterious steps in between.