Mai's Light Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Mai Pham, chef and owner of the Lemon Grass Restaurant in Sacramento, California, uses this dipping sauce for her Rice Rolls with Shrimp and Mushrooms.

  • Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2001


  • 1 cup raw shrimp shells
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird chiles or 1/2 serrano chile, cut into thin rings


  1. Make shrimp broth: Combine shrimp shells and 2 cups water in small pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain, and set aside to cool.

  2. Measure 1 cup shrimp broth, and place in a bowl. Add fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and chiles; stir well. The sauce will keep, refrigerated in a covered jar, for up to 2 weeks.


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