Nuoc Cham


The principal ingredient in this classic Vietnamese dipping sauce is a pungent, vitamin B-rich fish sauce, which is a beautiful balance of sugar, chiles and lime juice. The sauce is an ideal accompaniment to any Asian fried snack or dumpling; it also goes well with grilled chicken or pork and steamed rice. Fast Hors d'Oeuvres

1 cup


  • 2 large garlic cloves, halved

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fish sauce ( nuoc mam)

  • 1/4 cup plus tablespoon fresh lime juice


  1. In a mortar on mini-chopper, pulverize the garlic with the red pepper. Add the sugar and pound to a glossy paste. Pour into a bowl and stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and /4 cup of water.

Make Ahead

The Nuoc Cham can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Let return to room temperature before serving.

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