Traditional villages



The Nam O Fish Sauce Village was established in the early 20th century. Nam O is a small fishing village at the mouth of the Cu De river, at the foot of the Hai Van Pass, and is in Hoa Hiep Ward, Lien Chieu District.

Nam O fish sauce is a speciality of Da Nang. It is well-known throughout the country for its qualities which are highly appreciated.

The fish sauce is made of long-jawed anchovies. To find out how the fish sauce is produced, you should visit two households making fish sauce by the two different methods, distilling and filtering. After leaving the long-jawed anchovies in salt for a year, the fish sauce is extracted.

The fish are preserved in salt from either Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa Province), Quang Ngai or Binh Thuan, which have a larger grain size than other kinds of salt. The salt is dried on a cement floor for five to seven days and then kept in pottery vats for some years before being used. The fish are salted during the third lunar month one year, and then the sauce is extracted at the next lunar new year. Nam O fish sauce is dark red and has a delicious aroma.

The fish must be freshly caught and of medium size, and they are cleaned in sea water before being preserved. Fresh water is not used because it would take away the taste and smell, and the fish could go off easily during their long period of preservation. The vats must be made from special woods, including jackfruit wood. The fish is mixed with salt and put in the jars in layers. A bamboo grill or dried areca bark is placed over the top layer. The vat is carefully sealed and kept in a dark, dry, clean and cool place away from the wind. After six or seven months, the fish is mixed again, and when a white yeast substance forms on the top, the grid is taken off. At the beginning of the lunar new year, the preserved mixture is filtered through a piece of silk. Then we have dark red fish sauce with a great flavour.