Korean Fish Sauce (aekjeot)
Korean fish sauce is called aekjeot (액젓) and it is used in making kimchi to add flavor. Korean fish sauce is also used in soups and stews often to give more umami in the dish. A different variety of fish sauce is used in regional Korean cooking.
Korean anchovy sauce (myulch aekjeot, 멸치액젓) and sand lance sauce (kkanari aekjeot, 까나리 액젓) are most common aekjeot used. Anchovy fish sauce is made from raw anchovies and coarse sea salt through fermentation making anchovy sauce, while sand lance fish is used for making kkanari sauce. Southern Korean cuisine often use Korean anchovy sauce to season blanched vegetables or soup as well.
Both sauce starts with oil-rich anchovies or sand lance fishes that are salted, left to ferment for months, and then pressed. As a result, you will get the translucent brown liquid with strong pungent flavor and a funky aroma.
Korean fish sauce vs Vietnamese fish sauce
Both are similar in taste and aroma. The difference lies on the curing processes. Vietnamese fish sauce tends to be higher in sodium content than Korean fish sauce (anchovy sauce). If Korean fish sauce is not available in your area, you can substitute with Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce, but use in less amount.
How to store Korean fish sauce
Korean fish sauce doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator once opened. However, keep it in a dark and cool place avoiding the direct sunlight.