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