Su-Mei's Vietnamese Sweet-and-Sour Sauce
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 5 fresh bird chiles or 2 red serrano chiles, minced
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic and chiles into a paste. Add the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Mix well to combine, and taste. If sauce is too pungent, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Serve, or store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add more lime juice if needed.