I got this recipe from my mom (born and raised in Vietnam), who was passed this recipe from my grandmother. There are many different ways to make this dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham), and most recipes differ from family to family. I have yet to find one as good as my own family's. It has the sweet, the sour and the spicy. Please note that this recipe makes quite a lot, but it keeps very well in the fridge (a few months at least). My mother stores it in a clean 2 Liter pop bottle, but I usually use a large mason jar.
This recipe is typically used to dip either spring rolls, or fresh salad rolls in Vietnam. It can also be used as a great salad dressing for rice noodle salads.