Nuoc Cham

Nuoc cham is a chilli-hot lime-based dipping sauce that is as easy to make as vinaigrette. How hot you make it is up to you and it can be made with red or green chillies. The recipe calls for nuoc mam, Vietnamese fish sauce, but you could use nam pla, Thai fish sauce, without discernible difference.


  • 3 hot red chillies
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • juice of 5 limes
  • 3 tbsp nuoc mam or nam pla fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp shredded carrot


Cut the chillies into tiny dice and put in a bowl with the seeds from the chillies and the garlic. Cover with the lime juice and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, sugar and shredded carrot. Mix together and leave for another 10 minutes before using.

It will keep in the fridge for a week without deterioration.