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Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Known as nuoc cham, this Vietnamese table sauce is used to season almost every dish.

  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1996


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground chile paste
  • 1 Thai bird chile, or Serrano pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated carrots, for garnish


  1. With a mortar and pestle, pound garlic, chile paste, and fresh chile into a paste (or mince together with a knife). Transfer to a bowl. Add fish sauce, 2/3 cup hot water, lime juice, and sugar. Whisk together until sugar dissolves. Serve sprinkled with carrots.


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