Dipping Fish Sauce is the most common sauce to accompany Vietnamese dishes. This is a basic version of the dipping fish sauce, in general, you can adjust the taste to your personal preferences. In Vietnam, the sauce is also adjusted based on regional variations. In general, if you move south, the sauce gets sweeter and more garlicky. In Central, the sauce is heavier in fish sauce and hotter. To develop your own version, don’t mix everything together at once, but rather break up the process to adjust it along the way. You make want to add more sugar, or using rice vinegar instead of lime juice, or add in more or less or chili and garlic, it’s up to you.
Recipe for Vietnamese Dipping Fish Sauce – Nuoc Mam Cham
2 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, or to taste
2 clove garlic, sliced
3 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup water or fresh coconut juice
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
5 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp finely shredded carrots or carrot and radish pickles for garnish (optional)
Cut the garlic and chilies into thin rings. Place the chilies, garlic and sugar in a mortar and pound into a coarse, wet paste. (If you don’t have a mortar, mince garlic and chillies very well with a chef knife and mix in sugar.) Transfer to a small bowl and add water, lime juice and fish sauce.
Stir well to dissolve.
For a variation, add some grated carrot or Carrot and Radish Pickles to the dip.
Set aside for 10 mins before serving.
Makes 1 cup
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