Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham) is a condiment that is served with virtually every Vietnamese meal.
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham) graces the tables at almost all Vietnamese meals. There are many variations of this recipe. In fact, depending on the region of Vietnam, you will find different strengths of this dipping sauce. Each household has its own recipe.
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce Ingredients
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce typically includes fresh lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, garlic, chili paste, fresh red chilies, water and shredded vegetables (such as carrots, daikon, ginger, or white cabbage). I couldn’t find any red Thai bird chilies, so I just used sambal oelek, a chili paste you can find at Asian grocery stores or in the Asian section of many supermarkets.
Garlic is pounded into a paste with the chiles (or with the chili paste). Then, warm water is used to dissolve the sugar. Finally, all the other ingredients are mixed in. This sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, although it is best enjoyed fresh.
Serve this Vietnamese Dipping Sauce with Grilled Vietnamese Lemongrass Cilantro Chicken and salad greens, or make a more traditional Vietnamese Cool Rice Noodle Bowl, with fresh salad greens, cucumbers, fresh herbs (mint, Thai basil and/or cilantro), cooked thin rice noodles and roasted peanuts.
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek chili paste
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2/3 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice with pulp
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons shredded carrots for garnish
Place garlic and chili paste in mortar and pound into a paste. Mix together remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir in garlic chili paste. Stir in carrot slivers.
Adapted from The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking by Mai Pham
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