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nuoc cham recipe
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4.49 from 56 votes

Traditional Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

A simple recipe for the sauce that is used in pretty much every Vietnamese dish. This nuoc cham recipe is simple and tasty.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time3 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: nuoc cham, Vietnamese dipping sauce
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Becca Du



  • Combine the garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, sugar, and water in a small bowl. Mix well.
  • Taste some of the sauce to ensure it's seasoned to your liking. If you want it to taste more sour, add more lime juice. If you want it to taste sweeter, add more sugar.


  1. How to adjust the flavor of the sauce so it's right for you. If the sauce tastes too sour, add more sugar. If the sauce is too sweet, add more lime juice. If the fish sauce flavor is too strong, add more water. You can also omit the red garlic sauce if you don't want a spicy sauce.
  2. How do you store nuoc cham? Store this sauce in an airtight container for up to a month in the fridge.
  3. Substitutions
    1. The chili garlic sauce makes the sauce a little spicy. This can be substituted with Thai red chilis. Keep in mind that Thai chilis are a lot spicier than the chili garlic sauce, so be careful how many you add. You can add as many as you want.
    2. Some variations of this sauce use white vinegar instead of lime juice. This gives the sauce a different but still yummy flavor. Substitute 1 tbsp of white vinegar for every 2 tbsp of lime juice. But as I mentioned above, add more or less according to how sour you like your sauce.
    3. Another substitution for lime juice is lemon juice.


Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 739mg | Potassium: 26mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg