Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham) – Traditional Recipe

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham) is called the “awesome sauce” and every family has a unique recipe. I’ve had many versions of this quintessential dipping sauce and found every one likes this special fish sauce mixture a different way. There are variations to the acids used from different vinegars (distilled, rice wine, etc.) to lime or lemon juice. Different brands of fish sauce have varying intensities and some recipes combine multiple types of fish sauce for a truly potent punch. Sugar levels also vary greatly with the recipes ranging from super sweet to make-your-face-pucker tart. So I’d like to just say, there’s no wrong way to make this dipping sauce as long as you love the taste! This Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce recipe is my family’s recipe and we prefer it on the milder and sweeter side–we don’t use as much fish sauce as some of the other recipes. You can easily adjust this recipe to suit your taste buds. Make it as robust as you dare! Enjoy!Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce - Essential Sauce for Your Dishes | recipe from

Watch the video for instructions.


Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce / Nuoc Mam Cham


1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lime juice or vinegar
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 finely chopped small red chilies


In a small bowl, combine together the water, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, chopped garlic and chilies until the sugar is dissolved.

Serve the Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce alongside your favorite dishes.

Store any remaining portions in an air-tight jar and refrigerate. Enjoy the Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce within the week.

Yields: 1 3/4 cups

If you enjoy this Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham) recipe, you may also like:

Vietnamese Tamarind Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Me) - Serve this mouth-watering sauce with fish, fresh spring rolls or as a dressing for salads and noodle bowls!

Tamarind Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Me)

Zesty and tangy this dipping sauce is bursting with fresh flavors! | recipe from

Ginger Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam Gung)

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4 Responses to Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham) – Traditional Recipe

  1. Ashley September 18, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    LOVE! Your right there’s no other possible name but awesome sauce! Thx so much

    • Trang September 19, 2014 at 7:42 am #

      Hi Ashley,
      You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. riley June 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe and video! I am curious what brand of fish sauce and oyster sauce you recommend using in your recipes. Thanks!

    • Trang June 28, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      Hi Riley,

      For fish sauce, I like Red Boat Fish Sauce or the Three Crabs Brand. For oyster sauce, I like Dynasty or Lee Kum Kee. I am sure there are other great brands but these are my favorites. Hope that helps!

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