Nuoc Cham - Basic Vietnamese dipping sauce

Cooking time: 3 min. / 0 min.Difficulty: easy


Vietnamese cuisine is based on emphasizing the real taste of prepared dish. Meaning they do not add many ingredients into when cooking it. The taste is gained from side sauces, where you dip each bite just before putting into your mounh (both meat and fresh vegetables). Nuoc Cham is the sauce you will find nearly everywhere in Vietnam. It is a combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavour. If you are not a big fan of fish sauce or you try it for the first time, be careful about using it as its taste is quite special.


Melt sugar in lime juice and water. Mix and add bit by bit fish sauce. 

You can put more of any ingredient according to your preferences.

Add garlic or/and red chilli peppers if you like. 

Serve on the side with dishes where nearly no seasoning was added (fresh rolls, spring rolls, meat, fresh vegetable). Each bite dip in the sauce just before puting into your mouth.


For ¾ cup

  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 ½ tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • ½ cup water


  • 1 red chilli pepper without seeds, fine chopped 
  • 1 small garlic clove, fine chopped