My Recipe Box

Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce)


Yields 1-1/2 cups.

Keep a jar of this sauce in the refrigerator; it will last for a month. You can find ground chile paste (my favorite is Rooster brand) and fish sauce at many supermarkets but always at Asian groceries.

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 to 3 Thai bird chiles (or 1 small jalapeño or serrano chile), cored, seeded, and minced; more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground chile paste; more or less to taste
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. shredded carrots (optional)

In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and fresh chiles to a paste. (Or mince them together with a knife.) In a small bowl, combine this garlic and chile mixture with the chile paste, hot water, and sugar. Stir well. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and combine. Float the carrots on top. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before using.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per Tbs., Calories (kcal): 10, Fat (kcal): 0, Fat Calories (g): 0, Saturated Fat (g): 0, Protein (g): 0, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0, Carbohydrates (mg): 3, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0, Sodium (g): 240, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Ben Fink

This is a really good basic recipe but there are few little tweaks you can give to this that will really make this sauce an everyday condiment for your table. For one, you can reduce the sauce a bit slowly adding brown sugar to thicken the sauce up, it can then work as a nice glaze for fried fish. Another option is to buy it ready made from restaurants. My website has more recipes as well come check it out Check out the blog for recipe ideas and applications. Vietnamese food is really versatile and easy to make at home.

This is the best recipe for Nuoc Cham that I have tried. I make it just like the recipe calls but I cut the sugar in half.

Excellent flavour, I would ease up on the lime juice just a little.

this sauce is good with everithing rice,salads and dipping the taste is almost erotic

Though there are hundreds of variations of this recipie this one has all the essentials and has wonderfull flavour.It can still work well with less sugar however. Andrew Gillies

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