We are a fourth-generation old private family-owned fish sauce maker. Everything involved in making Son Fish Sauce is done by our family.
We have our own fleet of boats that harvest wild caught anchovies year round. What makes our fish sauce special is that the anchovies around Son Rai Island have very small stomachs, thus allowing the fish sauce to have a high protein content and a much more fragrant smell. Once the anchovies are caught, they are then salted right away on the boat with local sea salt. This method allows the fermentation process to start right away extra fresh from the sea.
The microclimate of Son Rai Island plays a major roll in producing Son Fish Sauce. Prevailing winds from the sea, fresh morning dews from the mountain peaks, tropical storms, intense humidity, and equatorial heating all add to the fermentation process.
As much as 14 tons with a ratio of 70% fresh wild caught anchovies and 30% local sea salt are jammed pressed into each barrel.
Anchovy + Sea Salt, and 1 Year Old process, the fish sauce that is produced from each barrel is what we call Nước Mắm Nhĩ. The term Nước Mắm Nhĩ refers to the fish sauce that is dripping drop by drop slowly out of the barrel. The elixir that comes from the barrel after 1 Year is considered the 1st press with the highest quality, flavor, and smell.
Each barrel will yield about 14,000 liters after 7 presses, however Extra Virgin & Virgin Press quality will only give us 16% of 40 degrees protein content or 33 degrees protein content depending on the quality of the anchovies caught.
With all artisanal and natural products, each barrel after 1 Year Old will yield a slightly different protein content, thus to ensure quality we will pick and choose the barrel with the best balance of protein content yield, quality, flavor, and smell. Each barrel will yield up to 7 presses, however at Son Fish Sauce, we only bottle the first 3 press.
There is no secret to high quality fish sauce, all you need is the right environment, the right Anchovy + Sea Salt, and most importantly... time.
With many Vietnamese International and National gold medals won, until now, our fish sauce has only been available locally in the western southern region of Vietnam.