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An authentic Nuoc Cham Recipe, a Vietnamese dressing and dipping sauce for salads, spring rolls, and rice noodle bowls. Vegan Adaptable!
While in Vietnam, I asked a cafe owner what the secret was to her Nuoc Cham. Her short and powerful response was short and simple and stuck with me ever since — equal parts!
For those of you unfamiliar with Nuoc Cham, it is a flavorful Vietnamese sauce used to season fresh salads, spring rolls, and noodle bowls. It is delicious on fresh salads and fresh crunchy veggies. Generally comprised of mainly 5 ingredients, Nuoc Cham varies in the proportion of these ingredients, depending on the region of Vietnam.
So here is the secret to the most balanced, flavorful and authentic Nouc Cham recipe: equal parts of lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and water (I use a 1/4 cup of each) plus the addition of fresh chilies to taste. That is it!
The one thing you will notice is there no oil in this recipe, making it very low in fat. But there is sugar (or feel free to use honey or agave or another sweetener) and please understand, you absolutely can’t leave this out for the recipe to work and be balanced.
So simple! I hope you enjoy this authentic Nuoc Cham Recipe!
Use this oil-free dressing with Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls or Lemongrass Chicken, or Vietnamese Lettuce WrapsPrint
Nuoc Cham Recipe | Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: dressing, sauce
- Method: stirred
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
A simple authentic Nuoc Cham Recipe – the flavorful Vietnamese dipping sauce and dressing for salads, spring rolls and noodle bowls. Vegan adaptable!
- 1/4 cup sugar (or honey, agave or other substitute)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce)
- sliced chilies to taste
- In a small bowl or jar, stir sugar and warm water until sugar dissolves. Add lime juice and fish sauce and few sliced fresh chilies. The chilies will infuse the dressing with heat.
- For a vegan version sub 3 tablespoons soy sauce for the fish sauce or try making the vegan fish sauce.
Feel free to halve the Nuoc Cham recipe. This will keep 1 week in the fridge.
If the dressing seems too strong for your taste, dilute with a couple of tablespoons of water. It is usually served on unseasoned veggies so intentionally packs a punch.
I understand that for some, this may seem like a lot of fish sauce. Keep in mind, when the fish sauce is balanced with the lime and sugar, you will hardly taste it when spooned on something fresh and crunchy.
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 29
- Sugar: 6.7 g
- Sodium: 706.8 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.2 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Nuoc Cham, dipping sauce, spring roll sauce, Vietnamese noodle sauce, Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nuoc Cham Recipe, best Nuoc Cham Recipe
Made Nuoc Cham last night for our lettuce wraps. My partner nearly guzzles the stuff, it’s that good. He’s not a cook but he’s happy to make this sauce. We used sugar; next time we’ll try it with honey.
Glad you liked it!
The perfect balance. Thanks for the easy ratio! I’ve been looking for this.