Whats Wrong With The Fish Sause? Does Fish Sauce Go Bad?

Fish Sauce Specifics Of the Storage And Lifespan

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is the sort of condiment that is produced from the small fish or krill, both fermented. This product is widely used in Asian countries where it is the same common as sunflower oil for us. 

As long as this foodstuff contains a lot of salt that works as a preservative, its lifespan is quite long. Normally, a bottle with such a sauce can easily live on your shelf for months!

Does fish sauce go bad? Let’s find this out!

How to Store Fish Sauce?

It may be surprising for those who are not familiar with this condiment that much but fish sauce is stored very much alike to soy sauce and teriyaki

Since the product includes a significant amount of salt, it prevents the condiment from fast spoiling. For this reason, the storage regulations for this condiment will be the same as for any other salty sauce:

  1. This foodstuff is ok to keep on a shelf in your kitchen cabinet or toss it to the cupboard or pantry
  2. Make sure that the level of heat around it is not too high, at the ordinary room level or slightly lower
  3. Avoid exposing the bottle to the direct light
  4. Put the condiment as far as it is possible from the heating objects
  5. Once the tank with the condiment is opened, double-check that it is tightly closed to avoid oxidation and further spoilage
  6. As for the opened product, it is recommended to keep the tank refrigerated to preserve the foodstuff’s aroma

Nevertheless, despite the fact that fish condiment should go to the fridge when opened, don’t stress if you forget it on the table for a day or two! This foodstuff is extremely durable and nothing will happen to it.

How Long Does Fish Sauce Last?

Of course, everyone who uses this condiment, want to know the length of this product’s lifespan. 

Many people get confused with the best-by date indicated on the bottles as they think this is the final use date and the sauce will turn spoiled the next day after the printed date.

That’s nonsense! This date only shows until when the product will remain at its best quality and, even though later it will start losing its qualities and potency, it won’t turn harmful.

Ultimate Guide to FISH SAUCE - Hot Thai KitchenUltimate Guide to FISH SAUCE – Hot Thai Kitchen

As for the duration of its lifespan, here everything hangs upon whether the tank is unscrewed or not.

How to Store Fish Sauce
Photo by GoodEats YQR on Unsplash

To make it simpler to compare, check the following chart.

Pantry/cabinet Fridge
Unopened Consumable for one year past the expiry date Refrigeration is not necessary
Opened Edible for 3-6 months Keep it safely for a year and more

And in addition, remember that this sort o product can easily stay good much longer if we keep it under the correct conditions. However, note that its potency will decrease with time anyway.

How to Tell If Fish Sauce Is Bad?

Being able to tell the difference between the old and spoiled product is a must in order to protect yourself from consuming off food.

Even though fish condiment will hardly ever turn really spoiled, note the following symptoms of the spoilage:

  1. Any traces of mold or yeast on the surface of the product
  2. Moldy or yeasty traces on the bottle’s neck
  3. Noticeable changes in color
  4. Noticeable changes in its aroma

However, this product is somewhat tricky as sometimes, when aging, it may have certain traits that people tend to explain as spoilage.

What do we mean?

If your sauce has clear crystals on the bottom of the tank, or you notice cloudy areas floating inside of it, don’t worry! It’s all-natural and normal. The crystals are simply the particles of salt, and floating “fog” is protein!

How Long Does Fish Sauce Last
Photo by Florian Metzner on Unsplash

What Are This Product Health Benefits?

It is not something that comes to mind first of all but fish sauce is in fact a very healthy thing!

Even though it is not that rich in nutrients, the list of its health benefits is quite impressive!

How to Tell If Fish Sauce Is Bad
Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash
  1. It consists of a lot of protein that our bodies need to create tissues
  2. It has enough calcium to cover our daily needs
  3. It lowers blood pressure
  4. The amino acids it contains stimulate insulin production
  5. The regular consumption of this foodstuff boosts our immune system
The Best Fish Sauce to Use in Your CookingThe Best Fish Sauce to Use in Your Cooking

So, if we add some of it to our daily eating, we will get pretty much profit. Besides, the product is widely used in various dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is fish sauce bad for you?

In fact, the condiment is rather healthy and beneficial having lots of useful traits like the ability to lower the blood pressure.
Of course, those who have certain health issues e.g. hypotension, have to be careful with this product.

⭐ Does fish sauce go bad if not refrigerated?

Even if the condiment stays unrefrigerated in the opened tank, it will last for half a year for sure whereas the unscrewed bottle can stay good much longer.

⭐ How can you tell if fish sauce is bad?

The most obvious sign is mold and/or yeast traces inside the bottle.

⭐ Does fish sauce have to be refrigerated?

If it’s the opened bottle, then yes, refrigeration if preferable. The unscrewed tank is ok to keep unchilled.

⭐ What is the best fish sauce?

Among all manufacturers, the most trusted ones are Red Boat which is a 100% natural product, and Flying Lion Sauce.

⭐ How long can you store the fish sauce?

The unopened tank will last for one year past the expiry date whereas the opened one can stay good even longer if refrigerated.

Fish sauce is a great condiment that is easy to store and super tasty when used! It is perfectly suitable for meat dishes, burgers, grilled food, dips, and sauces, and of course, for almost any soup.

All you have to do is to store it according to the required tips and be sure that this delicious and healthy product will delight you and your family members longer!

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
Does Fish Sauce Go Bad? - CHOW TipDoes Fish Sauce Go Bad? - CHOW Tip