I have bee tinkering with Vietnamese nuoc cham for some time now, tinkering with both a red version and a green version. The subtle difference between the two is the red uses sambal (which I totally love), and the green one does not. Both versions can be used in many different ways, but my preference for either one is to be used as a dressing, or dipping sauce for grilled meats, or spring rolls. There is something so addicting in both that when no one is looking, I will simply eat it by the spoonful.
Packed full of tart, sweet, and spicy ingredients, this sauce is one of my favorites. Hands down.
As with any nuoc cham, it uses fish sauce, so if you have never tried either, this is a great chance to stock up on some good fish sauce, a super ingredient for umami goodness.
Let’s get started.
- 1/2 cup of quality fish sauce (I like 3 crabs brand or Red Boat)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 green Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp lemongrass, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp shallot, minced
Mix all of these ingredients in a bowl, and mix until you get that sugar dissolved. Give a taste. See? Flavor bomb!
You can keep this out at room temperature until you are ready to serve. This was used in fresh lettuce wraps, along with vermicelli noodles, and egg rolls, all wrapped in lettuce and drizzled with that sauce. My boys, and wife do not care for the sauce as it is a bit too spicy for them, but my daughter and I simply love it. This can be stored in the refrigerator, cover, for a few weeks, but my guess is that if you fall in love with this sauce, that it will not last that long. Hope you enjoy!