Traditional Vietnamese Recipe - Mắm ruốc (Vietnamese fermented shrimp paste)
3 kg of Fresh tiny shrimp (Smaller shrimp the better)
1 kg of Rock Sea salt
Medium-sized ceramic pot with lid
Wash shrimp in fresh water then place in a colander to dry. Once dried place the shrimp in a large pan and lightly stir-fry with a pinch of salt, stir well for 2-3 minutes and then turn off the heat.
Pour all the shrimp from the pan onto a rice sorter or large board that you can spread the shrimp out in a single layer, and place outside to dry in the sun. The drying time is about 1 -2 hour, you can bring it in when you see that the shrimp has dried.
Once inside pound the shrimp with 1kg of rock salt until a fine consistency. You may need to do it in batches Make sure you grind in very fine as this makes a better sauce.
After pounding the shrimp and salt, , place the mixture it all into the ceramic pot. Then sprinkle the surface with a thin layer of salt, evenly covering the surface.
Use a cloth to cover the mouth of the jar then place the lid on top to seal the pot. Place the pot outdoors, in a place with cool air and shade and out of the weather.
The fermentation period is at least 6 months before you can use it. During the fermentation process, you should limit the opening of the lid to avoid too much air to change the taste of fish sauce. When it has been incubated for 6 months, open the lid to check, if you see that the fish sauce mixture has changed color from purple to beautiful red and has a sour yeast smell, it means that the fish sauce has been fermented and can be used. At this time, you bring the jar of fish sauce into the house, store it in a cool place to use gradually, or place it in jars with sealed lids for smaller batches. Mắm ruốc can have a shelf life of up to 1 year if you store it well.