Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fish Sauce Dip (Nuoc Cham)

From "Homestyle Vietnamese Cooking," by Nongkran Daks and Alexandra Greeley.

The classic dipping and seasoning sauce of the Vietnamese table, nuoc cham makes its appearance at nearly every meal. It is easy to make and stores well in the refrigerator.

3 fresh red (Thai)chillies, chopped (preferred) or 1 teaspoon Asian chilli paste
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
60g(1/4cup) sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoons fish sauce (3 crabs brand preferred)
125 ml (1/2 cup) water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Makes 250 ml (1 cup)
Preparation time: 10 mins

Although you can simply combine all the ingredients at once, you will get better results by pounding the chilli paste, which should contain bits of hot chillies, with the garlic and sugar before adding the remaining ingredients and mixing well.


  1. Goes well with grilled meats, fish, and salads with cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers.

  2. This sauce is amazing! The synergy between the ingredients is sublime. I had to make only one substitution: I used a fresh jalapeno pepper from the garden instead of the Thai Peppers. I was also lucky enough to have just ripened limes off of our tree. Thank you so much, Duylinh. I can tell this will become a staple around our house. Oh! I did serve it over the equally amazing marinated pork recipe. I will also leave a comment about that recipe. To make it clear: This is a 5***** recipe in my book!