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

Easy recipe for Vietnamese Fish Sauce Dipping Sauce | recipe from runawayrice.comI call this our “awesome sauce” and every family has a unique recipe.  I’ve had many versions of this Viet 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! The recipe below 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!

Watch the video below for instructions.


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 stir together all ingredients until sugar is dissolved.

Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight jar or bottle. Best if consumed within the week.

Yields: 1 3/4 cups

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

  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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