Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dressing/Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

1 Cup
10 min

You may be wondering why I am even creating such a simple recipe for this dressing/dipping sauce. I hear, “it’s a piece of cake”, or “there’s no way people don’t know this already” a lot. But, I have encountered too many people who have told me they went to the grocery store, purchased a bottle of fish sauce, poured it over their vermicelli noodles and wondered why it tasted so bad. Why doesn’t it taste the same as the one in the restaurant?

I actually had a colleague ask me the exact same question recently which is why I thought it would be a good idea to put my recipe together for her. It’s super simple to put together and lasts for months in the fridge. I keep it in a glass jar and keep it on hand for so many dishes. Of course, everyone is familiar with vermicelli noodle dishes. But, it’s also great for dipping spring rolls, dipping salad rolls, mixed in rice and rice rolls. I typically make it non spicy so the kids can have it as well and I’ll add chilis to the dish for my husband and I.

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dressing/Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
Recipe details
  • 1  Cup
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 10 min
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  • 3 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 5 tbsps fish sauce
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 red Thai chili, finely minced (optional)

In a bowl, add in the sugar and warm water. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add in the fish sauce. Stir to combine.
Add in the minced garlic and optional chili. Add the juice of half a lime. Stir to combine.
The dressing stores in the fridge for several months.