When a dish needs a vibrant, last-minute flavor lift, reach for this Hanoi-style condiment. At the table, sprinkle it into noodle soup, pan-fried and stir-fried noodles, and fried rice. At the stove, splash it into sautéed or stir-fried greens.

February 2019


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

5 mins
16 hrs 5 mins
Makes 3/4 cup


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together all ingredients in an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight before checking for flavor.

  • Check for flavor: It should mainly taste of garlic, with chile playing a minor supporting role. If either flavor is harsh, add more vinegar and water, starting with a 1-to-2 ratio. Increase or decrease amount of garlic, depending on its pungency and your preference. For extra chile bite, double the quantity, and see what happens. Taste it 1 day after it’s made, and keep tinkering to get a formula you like.

Make Ahead

Refrigerate in an airtight container for months. When the vinegar runs out, add new ingredients to the jar. When things taste tired or off, start over.