Food Preservation

Does Fish Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does Fish Sauce Last?

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Does Fish Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does Fish Sauce Last?“.

Most people don’t usually experiment with their cooking skills when they don’t like Asian cuisine or aren’t fans of Asian cuisine.

You most likely have a bottle of fish sauce sitting somewhere in your kitchen.

Your memory might not even recall when you bought it, given its low usage.

Since you are now considering using it again, you might be wondering, ‘Does fish sauce go bad?’

The purpose of this article is to answer just that question, so keep reading.

What Is Fish Sauce Anyways?

In addition to adding umami flavor to dishes, fish sauce is also a type of condiment.

Besides being fermented, it is also coated in different salts and made from fish or krill that have been fermented for two years.

In a typical modern fish sauce, salt is combined with shrimp, mackerel, or other fish that has a strong flavor and a high oil content.

As there are many variants of fish sauce, some even add spices or herbs to make it taste differently.

While it is mostly used in Asian cuisine, its unique flavor has gained worldwide recognition, and many chefs and restaurants use it in their dishes across the globe.

In addition to its use as a seasoning, fish sauce is also a good dipping sauce.

How to Store Fish Sauce Properly?

Fish sauce’s shelf life can be extended by taking care of certain conditions that are crucial for its preservation.

Having just bought a bottle of fish sauce and not opened it yet, you can just store it in your pantry and it won’t spoil.

Make sure it stays away from heat and light since these two things can ruin its taste.

It is also important to keep the sauce at room temperature to prevent it from going bad.

Let’s say the bottle has been opened. Firstly, keep it sealed at all times.

When kept at room temperature, an opened bottle of fish sauce won’t go bad within a day or two, a week, or maybe even a month.

There is, however, a possibility that it might lose its taste after a month. The best way to store it for a short period is to keep it in an airtight container at room temperature.

We recommend keeping it in the mini-fridge if you are planning to store it for a longer period of time, such as six months or more.

When kept at room temperature for six months or more, the sauce loses its quality and taste. A cool place, such as a fridge, will help it retain its quality and taste.

Does Fish Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does Fish Sauce Last?

It depends on the storage conditions whether fish sauce will last a long time. The Best By date is usually printed on the bottle of fish sauce.

After this date, the sauce does not necessarily go bad.

The manufacturer has only estimated how long the fish sauce will remain in its prime flavorful state.

Fish sauce can last for two, three, or even five years depending on the brand, but not longer.

This is due to the fact that it contains salts and different preservatives that are bound to lose their taste over time.

Due to the fermented fish used to produce it, it also contains bacteria, which can provide its taste for several years before it becomes bland or tasteless.

It is possible to store unopened fish sauce bottles at room temperature in a cool, dark place for two to three years.

However, to keep an opened bottle refrigerated in an airtight container for that long, it is important to keep it refrigerated.

It is possible for a bottle to last a year or a little longer if left at room temperature.

It is perfectly fine to use fish sauce that has been stored in a refrigerator for five years and still tastes great.

If you don’t store your fish sauce properly, your fish sauce could go bad completely.

The product will go bad within a year, tops, if it’s placed in a hot place or exposed to sunlight.

If, however, it is stored in the refrigerator, then it will still give you a good taste after 3 or 4 years.

How to Tell If Fish Sauce Is Bad? Fish Sauce Shelf Life!

Let’s assume that your fish sauce has gone bad, although it’s a one-in-a-million chance. What will you be able to tell?

If you look at the bottom of the bottle, you might see some crystals, but that’s okay.

You won’t notice any difference in the taste of your sauce because these are just sea salt crystals.

Throw away the bottle immediately if it is showing signs of yeast or mold inside or on its neck.

In addition to that, if the color or smell of the fish sauce changes, it may be spoiled.

It is best to taste a pinch to make sure it still has the same taste as it did when you first bought it if it looks and smells fine.

It is important to store fish sauce well if you want it to stay fresh for a long time. It doesn’t matter what you store, anything you store improperly will go bad sooner.

Does Fish Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does Fish Sauce Last?


15 minutes


15 minutes


30 minutes


  • Fish sauce
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Check the “Best-by-date” to know when it expires.
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).

If you want to read more about food preservation, read here: FOOD PRESERVATION.

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan is an accomplished culinary author with a passion for cooking and 6 years of experience. His creative ideas and valuable tips inspire readers to explore new flavors and take their culinary skills to the next level.

Rehmat Dietitian

Rehmat is a certified food dietitian having experience of 10 years in reviewing and practicing on foods different aspects.

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