Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

This classic accompaniment to rice paper rolls and lettuce wraps is the Vietnamese version of a vinaigrette,

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
Photo: Blaine Moats
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins


  • 2 - 2 ½ tablespoon sugar, or 3 to 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 3 - 4 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • ½ cup warm water, or as needed

  • 2 teaspoon unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar (optional)

  • 3 - 4 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced

  • 1 - 2 Thai or serrano chiles, thinly sliced (with seeds); or 2 or 3 tsp. chile garlic sauce (optional)


  1. In a small bowl combine 2 Tbsp. sugar (or 3 Tbsp. maple syrup), 3 Tbsp. lime juice, and the warm water. Taste; if needed, add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. sugar (or 1 Tbsp. maple syrup) and/or 1 Tbsp. lime juice. If there's an unpleasant tart-bitter edge, add rice vinegar to fix flavor.

  2. Stir in fish sauce. (How much you use depends on the brand and your own taste. Aim for a bold, forward finish that's a little gutsy.) Add garlic and, if desired, chiles. Keep sauce at room temperature up to 8 hours before serving. Makes 1 cup.


Lime juice and vinegar can add bitterness to the sauce if held too long, so make it up to 8 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

8 Calories
2g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Calories 8
% Daily Value *
Sodium 265mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Vitamin C 0.9mg 5%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Potassium 13mg 0%
Folate, total 2mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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