Nuoc Cham
This is the dipping sauce/dressing for Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad, but you can use it on any salad you choose.
1 1/2cups
1 1/2cups
  • 1/4cup brown sugaror Palm Sugar, if you have it
  • 2/3cup Hot Water
  • 1/4cup Fish sauce
  • 2Tbsp Lime Juicefresh if possible
  • 2Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegaror more lime juice as a substitute
  • 1clove Finely minced Garlic
  • 1/2tsp Sambal Olek (ground chili paste)or more, to taste
  • 2 Thai Bird Chiliesdeseeded for less heat
  • 2Tbsp Finely grated Carrot
  1. Place all ingredients in a container with a lid. Shake until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Taste, and adjust to your palate. You are looking for a balance of sweet, sour, salt and spice that suits your tongue.
  3. Store refrigerated in a covered container for up to a month.
  4. Substitutions: Use more lime juice if you don’t have rice wine vinegar, or use half the amount of white wine vinegar. Sambal Olek is very hot, but milder Thai Garlic Chili Paste can be used, or even Tabasco in a pinch. Fish sauce can be replaced with Soy Sauce (but it won’t be as good). Bottled lime juice is ok if you have to; lemon juice is a poor substitute, but better than nothing. Thai Bird Chilies are surprisingly available now in grocery stores, but sometimes you have to buy a package — leftovers will freeze. Thai Birds are very spicy if nice and fresh — take out the seeds for less heat.