Vietnamese Dipping Sauce | Nước Chấm | Nước Mắm Pha

This Vietnamese dipping sauce literally runs through all of Vietnamese people’s vein, we eat it that much and to that many dishes.  It is the most well known one and if you ever eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant before, you most likely have had it and loved it! 

Most famously it is served as the dipping sauce for fried egg rolls.  In addition, it is served for almost all types of rice dishes and rice noodle dishes.  You will see a jar of Nước Chấm / Nước Mắm Pha in any Vietnamese family’s refrigerator since we eat it to a majority of home cooked meals. 

This recipe is slightly different than the traditional recipe.  I like my sauce with lots of flavors when I pour it over my rice noodle dish or my rice platter.  But if I was to use it as a dipping for egg rolls or Vietnamese pancake called Bánh Xèo, I would make it more traditional.  I will list both recipes below.

The two names Nước Chấm and Nước Mắm Pha can be used interchangeably.  Nước Chấm literally means Dippng Sauce.  Nước Mắm Pha means Mixed Fish Sauce. 

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce | Nuoc Cham


  • 2 TBSP Sugar (I prefer Palm Sugar)
  • 2 TBSP Lime Juice or White Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Fish Sauce
  • 2-3 Gloves Garlic
  • 2-3 Chili Peppers
  • 4 TBSP Water

Recipe Version 2 – for the folks that like is extra strong and tasty:

  • 1 TBSP Sugar In this video I am using palm sugar; palm sugar is usually not traditionally used for this recipe, but I absolutely love the taste of palm sugar; it is sweet but much milder and smoother than regular sugar.  Give it a try sometimes.  Otherwise, just used regular sugar. 
  • 1 TBSP Fish Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Lime Juice or White Vinegar
  • 2 Gloves Garlic
  • 2 Chili Peppers


If you are going to store a jar of ready-made sauce in the refrigerator, I would recommend using vinegar versus lime juice.  Using white vinegar would keep the sauce good in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks easily. 
If you are using lime juice, it would last for about 1 week. 
Add garlic and chili peppers right before serving versus adding it to your jar.  Any fresh ingredients you add to the sauce will decrease its life shelf.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Keyword: Healthy Cooking, How To Cook Vietnamese Food, Nuoc Cham, Tasty Little Dumpling, Vietnamese Dipping Sauce, Vietnamese Sauce
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