Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

EXTRAS Dipping sauces.JPG

This classic sauce can be found in many variations, often served with Vietnamese spring rolls and bò bún (beef noodle salad). The balance of spice, salt and sugar lends itself to myriad uses – I like to use it as a pungent accompaniment to Sashimi Salmon or as the dipping sauce variation to my Asian Chicken and Cilantro Meatballs.

Makes 3/4 cup (185 ml)



A mini food processor or a standard food processor fitted with a small bowl; a small jar with a lid.


2 plump, moist garlic cloves, peeled, halved, green germ removed
1 fresh or dried red bird’s eye chile
3 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce, preferably Red Boat brand
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar


In the food processor mince the garlic and chile. Add the fish sauce, citrus juice, sugar, and 1/2 cup (125 ml) water. Pulse to blend and taste for seasoning. Transfer to the jar and tighten the lid.

Make ahead note

Store in the covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

This recipe was first published in The French Kitchen Cookbook
All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.