Fish sauce

Aekjeot 액젓

Good fish sauce is savory, salty, a little sweet, and full of umami. It’s an essential ingredient for many Korean dishes and a substitute for soup soy sauce in many of my recipes.

If you watch my videos you’ll see that I always use 3 Crabs brand fish sauce. It’s not made in Korea, but it is sold in Korean grocery stores because it’s very popular among Korean immigrants. My mom was the one who first suggested it to me and it’s the one I like the best.


You can use any brand of fish sauce, as long as it’s clear and brownish and tastes good.

3 crabs fish sauce

fish sauce


Recipes that use fish sauce (aekjeot):



  1. Jy My profile page joined 6/15
    Posted June 23rd, 2015 at 6:46 pm | # |

    Dear Maangchi,

    Do you think this brand of Fish Sauce might be good:

    Thanks so much for spreading so much joy through your videos! :-)

    warmest regards,

  2. MeeAe Colorado My profile page joined 2/13
    Posted January 6th, 2014 at 2:44 am | # |

    I just wanted to post this for those of us who can’t eat gluten. Three crabs fish sauce has wheat in it, there are others that don’t. While I can no longer use 3 crabs, I use fish sauce that only contains fish and salt. Check your ingredients, if you are a celiac like me. Tiparos, red boat are good.

  3. Laleh7171 Iran My profile page joined 2/12
    Posted February 24th, 2012 at 10:19 am | # |

    Hi i can’t find fish souce in Iran , can i make it myself ? I love kimchi

  4. Linkelbell Simgapore My profile page joined 11/10
    Posted November 2nd, 2010 at 9:55 am | # |

    HI maangchi I try to make the kimchi from your recipe but i can’t find the 3 crab fish sauce in singapore, so i use the thai fish sauce but the fish sauce smell was too strong. can i check with you can i use the anchovies sauce or eel fish sauce?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 pm | # |

      If the fish sauce flavor is too strong for you, use less amount. You could use Thai fish sauce or anchovy fish sauce, but I don’t know much about eel fish sauce.

      • Linkelbell Simgapore My profile page joined 11/10
        Posted November 6th, 2010 at 11:45 pm | # |

        Hi Maangchi,
        Thanks so much for your advise, the kimchi was great. But what should i do with the water come out from the kimchi??

  5. luchin91 Quito, Ecuador My profile page joined 10/10
    Posted October 18th, 2010 at 5:47 am | # |

    I’ve got a question!.

    How salty is fish sauce?. As salty as soy sauce? or is fish sauce more salty or less salty than soy sauce?. I want to make kimchi, but I think I won’t be using fish sauce. I’ve seen some people have used soy sauce with kimchi, but I want to make sure on the quantity I’ll be using.

  6. lucette My profile page joined 8/10
    Posted August 13th, 2010 at 11:25 pm | # |

    Hi maangchi! Is fish sauce the same as “salted anchovy sauce”, or is that a specialized kind?

  7. Laura
    Posted August 7th, 2009 at 4:31 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I finally decided to go out and buy some ingredients to cook some of your recipes!

    But I have a question about the fish sauce! Will the soft tofu stew taste different if I don’t add the fish sauce ?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 7th, 2009 at 7:13 am | # |

      You could use salt or soy sauce instead of fish sauce. Don’t forget to make delicious stock before adding the soft tofu.

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