Sunday, 5 February 2017

Nuoc Cham

Nuoc cham is a dipping sauce served as a condiment in Vietnam.  It is frankly delicious and sums up that sour, spicy, salty, sweet combo which is so great.

I will give you the recipe here for how to make nuoc cham yourself and also give you a couple of ways it can be used.

Nuoc cham - makes enough for 1-2 people, keeps in the fridge for a day


2 tbsp water
3 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of a lime
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp lemongrass (see note)
1 chilli or more if liked
1 garlic clove


Finely chop the chilli and garlic (deseed the chilli if you'd like it milder).  Chop the lemongrass and mix the chilli, garlic, lemongrass and remaining ingredients together.  Leave at room temperature stirring a few times until the sugar dissolves (or you could dissolve in warm water then allow to cool).

Serve as a dipping sauce or salad dressing.

Note:  Did you know you can grow lemongrass in your kitchen?  Even in not so sunny England?  This is why my nuoc cham has some green specs in it, what I do is grow the lemongrass stalk and then trim off some of the leaves to use.  Never have to buy lemongrass again!  Brilliant!  Alternatively you can use the finely chopped, tender inner stem.

For a dipping sauce a great way to serve this is with Vietnamese spring rolls.

Or for a salad why not try this Prawn (shrimp) and blood orange salad?

Prawn and Blood Orange Salad


1 Blood orange (or use a regular orange if they're out of season)
80g, 2.5oz Cucumber
50g, 1.5oz Sugar snap peas
100g, 3.5oz Cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled weight
Coriander, to serve (cilantro)
Nuoc Cham to dress


Segment the orange (cut the top and bottom off the orange then cut off the peel and pith then take out the segments without the membranes).

Layer the salad with cucumber and sugar snap peas finishing with the prawns, orange and dressing.

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