Recipe by: Linda Le

Source: family recipe

Serve with Bun Nem Nuong (Vietnamese Meat Ball Noodles)


Note: This is a very common sauce that’s used in many Vietnamese dishes. Growing up, we all had to learn to perfect this sauce. For example it can be used for deep fried spring rolls, fried chicken wings, other dry noodle dishes, fried fish balls, rice paper rolls…


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 hot water
  • 1/3 cup Thai fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup vinegar (or part vinegar part lemon/lime, or all lemon/lime)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (or more) Thai red chili, minced
  • 1 small carrot – julienned very thinly 1-2mm thick long strips (carrot is optional)


  • In a bowl add the sugar and dissolve with the hot water
  • Add fish sauce and vinegar/lemon and mix
  • Add minced chili and garlic and top off with carrot. Stir and serve!
  • Leftovers can be kept in a glass jar in a fridge for a couple months.

Tip: This sauce should have a nice balance between sweet, salty, spicy and sour. Whatever measurement you use, just add the same portions for sugar (sweet), vinegar (sour) and fish sauce (salty) then two portions of water. Different brands of fish sauce have different levels of saltiness. If unsure gradually add each ingredient to taste.

Download PDF version here: vietnamese-nuoc-cham-vietnamese-dipping-sauce-linda-le