Nuoc Cham (Hot Vietnamese Sauce for Dipping)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 0 mins

A Vietnamese condiment sauce made mainly with chilies, garlic and fish sauce. This version is from "A little Vietnamese Cookbook" by Terry Tan. You can add fresh coriander and other herbs, chopped ginger, nuts, pineapple, spring onions etc. Also great to spice up plain rice.


  1. Remove stalks from chilies and de-seed, if you like a milder dip, though this defeats the purpose of this sauce.
  2. Pound garlic in a pestle or a food processor.
  3. Add chilies one by one and keep processing until you have a fine paste.
  4. Add sugar and lime pieces and continue to process.
  5. Remove to a small bowl (out of the pestle but leave in processor).
  6. Add water, vinegar and fish sauce; mix well.
  7. Keeps well in airtight container in the fridge.