If you want to be able to cook Vietnamese food, then you'll need to master this dipping sauce; it's used in so many dishes to bring all the elements together. However, it can be easily messed up if you get the quantities wrong, and especially if your taste buds are not well versed in balancing the subtle nuances between sour, sweet, salty and spicy.
Recipe courtesy of Donal Skehan
Episode: Sapa Kitchen
Herby Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
Total:
15 min
Active:
15 min
Yield:
1 cup
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
15 min
Active:
15 min
Yield:
1 cup
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
15 min
Active:
15 min
Yield:
1 cup
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (preferably Vietnamese; see Cook's Note)
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 or 2 small Thai chiles, thinly sliced 
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful Vietnamese coriander leaves (rau ram), finely chopped

Directions

Mix the lime juice, sugar and 100 milliliters (1/2 cup) water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust the flavors if necessary to balance out the sweet and sour. Add the fish sauce, garlic and chiles. Taste again and adjust the flavors to your liking, balancing out the sour, sweet, salty and spicy. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until needed, up to 24 hours. Just before serving, mix in the cilantro and Vietnamese coriander.

Cook's Note

For this sauce, it is worth seeking out a Vietnamese fish sauce, which is much lighter than the Thai version.

Trending Videos 7 Videos

Get the Recipe

Gabriele's Limoncello 01:28

Gabriele shares his family recipe for a delicious summertime libation.

Similar Topics:

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Shishito Peppers with Soy-Ginger Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Haylie Duff

Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Kelsey Nixon

Pigs-in-a-Blanket with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Justine Simmons

Pork Gyoza with Ginger Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Channel

Homemade Honey BBQ Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Dan Pashman|Laurie March

Sauteed Peppers

Recipe courtesy of Roger Mooking

On TV

So Much Pretty Food Here