garlic chili dipping fish sauce

Dipping Fish Sauce for Fresh Spring Rolls

Print Recipe
This dipping fish sauce, Nuoc Cham, one of the classic dips, from a Vietnamese family in the Mekong Delta, adds a sweet and savory flavor to your table. This recipe ensures that tiny garlic and chili pieces beautifully float on the top of the dipping fish sauce, making it popular choice for fresh spring rolls.
Course Dipping Sauce
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword dipping fish sauce for fresh spring rolls
Prep Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 6


  • popular kitchen tools


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 clove garlic (peeled)
  • 2 red chillies (deseeded)


  • Chop Ingredients: finely chop the garlic and chilies. Mix them together in a small bowl and set aside.
    chopping garlic chilies for dipping fish sauce for spring rolls
  • Dissolve Sugar: In another small bowl, combine the water and sugar. Stir well until the sugar completely dissolves.
  • Add Fish Sauce: Gradually add the fish sauce to the water and sugar mixture. Stir and taste after each spoonful to adjust the saltiness to your preference.
    mix fish sauce to water and sugar mixture for dipping fish sauce
  • Add Lemon Juice: Add lemon juice and stir well, aiming for a balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors.
  • Combine Mixtures: gradually pour the fish sauce mixture into the bowl with the chopped garlic and chilies.
  • Mix Thoroughly: Stir the combined mixture thoroughly.
  • Serve: Serve the dipping sauce in individual dipping bowls for each person.


Each Vietnamese family has its own version of dipping fish sauce, tailored to their family members' tastes. Regional variations also exist throughout Vietnam: Southern Vietnamese versions are sweeter, Central ones are saltier and spicier, and Northern recipes strike a sour balance.
For the simplest dipping fish sauce from Central Vietnam, see this link.

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