Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce)

Before making this recipe, I questioned using fish sauce in a way that didn’t involve heating it up before eating. I had never eaten fish sauce “raw” but I thought I would give this recipe a shot. Nuoc Cham is a simple dipping sauce made with chilis, garlic, lime juice and of course fish sauce. When all of those ingredients combine it results in a surprisingly mild sauce (and no food poisoning!). It was perfect for the grilled lemongrass chicken and I bet it would be great with spring rolls too.

Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce)
(makes about 1 cup)
Printable Version


  • 5 Japanese or thai red chili, seeds removed and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  1. Boil the chilies until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain the water and mince the chilies.
  2. In a bowl, mix all ingredients.

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