Vietnamese Recipes

Spicy Steve's Vietnamese Recipes

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

(Nuoc Cham)
This is an essential sauce found on almost every Vietnamese table and is used to enhance many a dish. The base ingredient of every variation is fish sauce, or nuoc mam, as it is known in Vietnam. Nuoc cham is also the classic dip to go with Vietnamese Spring Rolls. The Vietnamese like to add thinly sliced vegetables such as carrot and marinated daikon to add flavour to their nuoc cham. In the south they also add sugar, lime juice and sometimes dilute the sauce with water where in the north of the country they blend a simpler and more concentrated version. You can easily vary this sauce to meet your own tastes.


4 Thai bird’s eye chillies, chopped finely or 1 tsp sambal oelek (chilli paste)
4 pips of garlic, pounded or chopped finely
3 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice
5 Tbsp fish sauce
4 Tbsp carrots, finely julienned, or 4 Tbsp marinated finely shredded carrot and daikon.
1/3 cup lukewarm water


Mix everything together in a medium sized bowl and make sure the sugar dissolves well. Portion out into individual dipping bowls and serve. Makes about 2/3 cup dipping sauce.