Chilli Lime Dipping Sauce

Nuoc Cham

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes: About

    ¾ Cup

Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

This dipping sauce is on every table in Vietnam. The Thais make theirs a bit sharper with less water but it’s equally wonderful.


  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cm (¾ inch) piece ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar (jaggery) or caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) lime juice
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced


Pound the garlic, ginger and sugar in a mortar and pestle until a fine paste forms. Scrape into a small bowl, then add the remaining ingredients. Don’t add the chilli too far in advance of serving, as the sauce gets too hot.