Fish Sauce Vs Fish Oil – What’s The Difference?

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Many people who don’t use fish oil in their daily lives don’t know the difference between fish oil and fish sauce, and they can mix up these two thinking that it’s the same thing.

If this is you, we’re here to tell you that they’re not the same thing at all. The only thing they have in common is that they are made from fish.  

So, what is the main difference between fish sauce and fish oil? The main difference between fish sauce and fish oil is the way that each is consumed. Fish sauce is a condiment used as an addition to dishes to make them taste better. Fish oil is full of Omega-3s and consumed in the form of capsules as a dietary supplement.

If you keep reading, you will get a preview of what exactly fish sauce and fish oil are, and what else makes them different.

What Is Fish Sauce?

Bottle of Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a condiment used mostly in Asian (East and Southeast) cuisine, but it has been used in others like greek cuisine.

It is made from fish that are salted and fermented in barrels for a long time – from a couple of months up to two years. 

The fish that are used to make this sauce are fish that are high in oil, like mackerel or anchovy.

This sauce can also be made from shrimp or krill. Besides salt and water, many manufacturers add other herbs and spices. 

The fermentation process breaks down the fish into a black or brown liquid that is savory and fishy.

In order to add a little bit of color, some of the manufacturers add molasses, caramel, or even roasted rice. But the end result should always be sauce that is salty, watery, and clear.

The resulting fish sauce is used not only as a condiment but also as a dipping sauce.

It’s often compared to soy sauce and some even consider soy sauce to be a vegetarian alternative to fish sauce. Conversely, many people also use fish sauce as a substitute for soy sauce

Fish sauce is used in marinades, salad dressings, stir-fry dishes, pasta, vegetable broth, roast chicken, and many other dishes. It can bring an extra kick of flavor to any dish, so don’t be afraid to experiment. 

Just keep in mind that fish sauce has a strong flavor, so when experimenting, use a smaller amount at a time. Also, check the taste of the dish frequently as you prepare it.

When it comes to storage, you can store it at room temperature for about three to four years, whether you opened it or not. 

What Is Fish Oil?

Fish Oil Capsules

Fish oil is simply oil (or fat) that is extracted from the fish tissue and usually comes from oily fish like tuna, anchovies, mackerel, tuna, herring, etc.

This oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits. 

For that reason, it’s a good idea to either eat fish once or twice a week or take omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Fish oil contains 30% Omega-3 fatty acids, and the rest is other fats. 

Consuming fish oil has many health benefits. Here are some of the most important ones.

Fish Oil Health Benefits Include:

  • Heart Health – Fish oil can lower your cholesterol levels and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, prevent arterial plaque, and can reduce the risk of fatal arrhythmia. By improving all of these conditions, it can help reduce the risk of heart disease. 
  • Brain Function – Fish oil can improve some mental disorders and improve overall brain function.
  • Eye Health – If you don’t take enough Omega-3 acids, you have a higher risk of getting eye diseases. 
  • Inflammation – It has strong anti-inflammatory effects. 

Fish oil can also be consumed in the form of fish dishes, but most people find it easier to swallow a capsule of it every few days instead.

This option is particularly appealing to those who aren’t huge fans of eating fish. If this sounds like something you may want to start taking, our suggestion is the pure fish oil from Nature’s Bounty.

Fish Sauce Vs Oil – Final Comparison

For your convenience, we’ll compare fish sauce and fish oil side by side below.

  • Fish sauce is a condiment and it is used to enhance the taste of food. On the other hand, fish oil is consumed as a dietary supplement to provide your body with Omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Fish sauce is used in its original brown or black liquid state and has a salty taste. Fish oil is usually consumed as a supplement in the form of capsules that can have a fishy taste but are not salty. You can also buy odorless fish oil supplements that dissolve in the intestines if you want to avoid the taste. 
  • Fish sauce provides minerals like sodium, potassium, vitamins, and protein. Fish oil provides Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Fish sauce is made by fermenting fish in salty water. Fish oil is made by extracting oil from fish tissue. 
  • Fish sauce is thin, watery, and usually brown. Fish oil is thick and usually clear yellow.  

We hope this article has proven to be a useful well of information and that you now have a better grasp on the differences between fish sauce and fish oil.

Up Next: The Best Substitutions for Fish Stock

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