Nuoc Cham is a Vietnamese Dipping Sauce that is a sweet, slightly spicy, fish sauce used as a condiment for many Vietnamese dishes. I love to dip Vietnamese Eggrolls (oh my gosh, I love Vietnamese eggrolls, all wrapped up in a big lettuce leaf) in the sauce!
I always say to get the best ingredients your budget allows. My preference is the Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce. Thai Bird Chilies, which are very spicy, add a nice heat to the Nuoc Cham, but if you are not able to find those, a Serrano or Jalapeno will work, or you can just add a little extra of the Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste. Because I use a lot of limes in my cooking, I always have True Lime in my pantry in case I run out of fresh limes.
I promise you, True Lime tastes like you just went outside, picked a lime from your tree and squeezed it fresh. The whole line of True Lime/Lemon products are wonderful and I use the True Spices in my cooking.
You can use a mortar and pestle, or you can just toss everything into a food processor, blender or Vitamix, your choice. Make sure you refrigerate the Nuoc Cham for several hours before using to give the ingredients in the sauce a chance to incorporate.
Don’t forget to prepare your Thịt Nướng (Vietnamese BBQ Pork) for your Bun Thịt Nướng (Vietnamese BBQ Pork & Rice Noodles) too, as it also needs an overnight refrigeration.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- J.A. Henckels Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk– a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- John Boos Maple Cutting Board with Groove
- Microplane Artisan Ribbon Grater
- Lock N Lock Small Container
- VitaMix 7500
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Here is your handy printable recipe:
- Using a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and fresh chilies to a paste (or mince them).
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic/chili mixture, chili paste, hot water, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and stir well, or put everything into a food processor/Vitamix and combine.
- Float the carrots on top.
- Let sit for at least 15 minutes before using.