13 October 2009

Vietnamese Basic Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

This sauce is used to add flavor to foods wrapped in lettuce or herbs, grilled meat with noodles or rice. I almost always drench my food in it when I have Vietnamese food. It does seem to heighten the overall eating experience. With this batch I made, I used this as a dipping sauce for my rice paper rolls.

Vietnamese Basic Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
recipe adapted from Viet World Kitchen

Makes ¾ cup

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
Optional additions:
  • 1 small garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • 1 bird's eye chilli (thinly sliced)
  • Zest of the lime used
  1. Combine the lime juice, sugar and water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust the flavors to balance out the sweet and sour.
  2. Add the fish sauce and any of the optional ingredients. Taste again and adjust the flavors to your liking, balancing out the sour, sweet, salty and spicy. Aim for something a little stronger than what you'd normally like.
  • This sauce may be prepared early in the day and left to sit at room temperature.
  • Use half lime juice and half Japanese rice vinegar for a less assertive sauce - Some more delicately flavored dishes may require this instead.

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