This classic Vietnamese dipping sauce, nuoc mam cham (or sometimes just called nuoc cham), is a balance of salty (from fish sauce), chilli and sweet. Serve it with fried street snacks, fresh rice paper rolls or use as a dressing over salads.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (2185 votes)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce 
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) rice vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) water
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 1 cup

To make the dressing, place fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and water in a pan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring mixture to just below boiling point, then set aside to cool. Add garlic, chilli and lime juice, and stir to combine.


Want more recipes like this? We recommend:

• Our sauce, salsa and dressing collection, featuring 200+ recipes.
Pho, steamboat salmon and other dishes from Luke Nguyen's Vietnam
Tofu rice paper rolls, to match your freshly made nuoc mam cham.