|Cuong Pham has a strong food-related nostalgia for his childhood in Saigon filled with the scents of tropical foods and herbs that dominated most dishes. But what he missed most is the aromatic rice infused with intensely fragrant nước mắm nhi (fish sauce) that beckoned him to the family table.
After leaving his homeland and coming to the U.S. he began cooking more frequently to recapture the flavors of his youth but to his disappointment the nước mắm nhi he found in Asian markets tasted flat or harsh. Nothing seemed to have the sweet rich flavor of the nước mắm nhi his family enjoyed in Vietnam.
Thus began his odyssey to create authentic and flavorful fish sauce. His uncles had often talked about the source of the best fish sauce they ate in Vietnam, the beautiful tropical Island of Phu Quoc. He set off to develop his own nước mắm nhi and in 2006, he expanded a small family owned factory on Phu Quoc. The result is Red Boat Fish Sauce.