Nước chấm - Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
Nước chấm is a Vietnamese dipping sauce that is used in so many Vietnamese dishes as a sauce to dip food into like spring rolls and rice paper rolls, or drizzled onto dishes like stir fry's, vermicelli bowls and even salads just before serving.
The sauce is a perfect balance between salty, sweet, spicy and sour and whilst it is so easy to make, the hardest part is getting this balance correct.
Every region in Vietnam has their own version of this sauce, some cook it whilst others just mix in the raw ingredients, and some recipes even call for lemon juice rather than vinegar. This is my family's recipe and what I learnt from my mum, so it might be a little different to what you might have had, but boy is it good!
I like making a big batch of this and storing it in an airtight jar or container to store in the fridge. This will last you a couple of months.
- 1 cup of fish sauce
- 1 cup of white wine vinegar
- 1/2 head of garlic or 3 tablespoons of finely minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons worth of finely minced red chilli
- 2 1/2 cups of white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of water
Watch the process
- Pour 1 cup of white wine vinegar and 2 1/2 cups of sugar into a large bowl, and stir well combined. To help the sugar dissolve into the vinegar, add 1 cup of warm water and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add in 3 tablespoons of finely minced garlic and stir well.
- Add in 1 cup of fish sauce, a little at a time and stir.
- Once the fish sauce has been added, taste the sauce and adjust to your liking. If it tastes too salty or sour add in a dash of water to dilute it. Otherwise add in a little more sugar.
- Add in the 3 tablespoons of finely minced red chilli a tablespoon at a time and stir well. Taste to check the spice levels, if it's hot enough then stop, if not keep going. Make sure you are always slowly adding and tasting when it comes to this sauce. It's always easier to add more than to try to fix a sauce that is either too hot, salty or sour.
- Transfer into an airtight and sterilised jar and place into the fridge. This will keep for up to 4 months.