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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!

A simple authentic recipe for Nuoc Cham, a flavorful Vietnamese dipping sauce and dressing for salads, spring rolls and noodle bowls. Vegan adaptable! #nuoccham #dressing #sauce #vietnamesesauce #dippingsauce #nuoc

While in Vietnam, we ate a lot of cool and refreshing salads. It was so hot there; salad felt so light and flavorful. One particular day we had a green mango salad with a Nuoc cham dressing and it was so flavorful and perfectly balanced- I had to ask the cafe owner what the secret was to her Nuoc cham dressing. Her powerful response was short and simple and stuck with me ever since — equal parts! 

What is Nuoc Cham?

Nuoc Cham is a flavorful Vietnamese dressing or sauce used to season fresh salads, spring rolls, and noodle bowls. It is delicious on cold crunchy salads and veggies. Generally comprised of a few key ingredients, Nuoc Cham varies in the proportion of these ingredients, depending on the region of Vietnam.

Nuoc cham Ingredients

  • Fish Sauce I like Red Boat brand.
  • Sweetener- Brown sugar, palm sugar, or honey
  • Lime juice– Fresh is best here
  • Fresh chilies– use red or green, mild or hot.

How to make the best Nuoc Cham

The secret to the best, most balanced, flavorful Nouc Cham recipe is 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!

Is Nuoc Cham Healthy?

We think so! You will notice that there is no oil in this recipe, making it very low in fat. Fish sauce is fermented, so full of probiotics, and good for gut diversity. Lime adds a burst of vitamin C and the chilies contain vitamins A and C and capsaicin. So yes, we pronounce it “healthy”. 😉

A simple authentic recipe for Nuoc Cham, a flavorful Vietnamese dipping sauce and dressing for salads, spring rolls and noodle bowls. Vegan adaptable! #nuoccham #dressing #sauce #vietnamesesauce #dippingsauce #nuoc

So simple! I hope you enjoy this authentic Nuoc Cham Recipe!

Ways To Use Nuoc Cham

There is a Thai version of this called Nam Jim Jaew – we love this version by Suwanee!

More Vietnamese recipes you may enjoy!

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A simple authentic recipe for Nouc Cham, the Vietnamese dressing and dipping sauce for salads, spring rolls and noodle bowls. #nouccham #dressing #sauce #vietnamesesauce #dippingsauce

Nuoc Cham Recipe | Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • 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!


Units Scale
  1. 1/4 cup sugar (or honey, agave or other substitute)
  2. 1/4 cup warm water
  3. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  4. 1/4 cup fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce)
  5. 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, nuoc Cham dipping sauce, nuoc cham recipe spring roll sauce, Vietnamese noodle sauce, Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nuoc Cham Recipe, best Nuoc Cham Recipe

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  1. 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.

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